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Coliseum opens up to sharing golf rights

New Zealand-based digital sports broadcaster Coliseum Sports Media has said it is prepared to sublicense some of its golf rights to television broadcasters in an effort to give the sport additional exposure in the country.

Having secured the rights to all PGA Tour events in a deal struck in October 2014, CSM in December 2014 added the European Tour, Ryder Cup, USPGA Championship, Asian Tour and LPGA Tour to its portfolio.

CSM is exploiting the rights via an online platform, and while subscriber numbers have been strong chief executive Tim Martin admits there is content that could be afforded television exposure.

“We have a lot of golf on there, more golf than people can watch, and having some that people are not watching does not serve anyone,” he told the New Zealand Herald newspaper. “We would like watchers to have access through other channels for the good of the game and that seems a really fair call to us. I would think early next year we would agree some rights with (pay-television broadcaster) Sky, or whomever might be interested. The intent is there from all parties and I'd say it is a really good chance.”

New Zealand has a growing presence in golf, with Lydia Ko (pictured) the women’s world No.1. Martin maintains CSM’s strategy has served to feed this interest, but admits it has come under pressure to offer rights elsewhere.

He added: “How do you show a 15-year-old free Lydia Ko? You can't, but we can and we are. Every time Lydia defends a title, we are making that live and free through the internet. We also accept it is not fair to take out all the existing golf audience because those guys who can't make the transition shouldn't be held to ransom to do so and that's the juggling act.

“Maybe we ran a bit far in the first year. We have had great feedback from New Zealand Golf, who have made it clear they would like some golf back on some other platforms, and I think we have listened to that and we are going to.”

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