Canal Plus retains top golf rights in France

French pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus has retained rights for golf’s Ryder Cup, European Tour, PGA Tour and World Golf Championship events in a four-year deal with the IMG agency, from 2013 to 2016.

The rights include live coverage and magazine programming surrounding two editions of the Ryder Cup tournament, in 2014 and 2016. The deal also includes live coverage of 40 annual tournaments on the European Tour, four World Golf Championship events per year and all events on the North America-based PGA Tour, including the US Masters at Augusta.

Canal Plus retained the rights in the face of competition from rival pay-television broadcasters Al Jazeera and Golf Channel.

Canal Plus pays about €1.5 million ($2 million) per year in its existing deal, which will expire at the end of 2012.

“Golf has had a prominent place on our schedule for more than 20 years, and this announcement confirms our position as the exclusive distributor of golf, allowing us to offer the best to our subscribers,” Canal Plus director of sport Cyril Linette said.