Fox Sports enhances golf content ahead of USGA deal

The Fox Sports division of US network Fox has bolstered its golf content by agreeing a multi-year, multi-platform rights deal for the Franklin Templeton Shootout event.

The contract will begin with this year’s event on December 11-13 at Tiburón Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida.

The Shootout's move to Fox Sports makes it the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event televised by Fox and pay-television channel Fox Sports 1. A minimum of 10 hours of live tournament coveage will be featured.

Founded in 1989 by golf legend Greg Norman, who was recently signed to Fox Sports’ broadcast team, the Shootout is the longest running PGA Tour-sanctioned challenge season event.

The move to Fox Sports results in a schedule change for the Shootout. The opening round of the 54-hole professional competition is held Thursday, December 11 with the final round played Saturday, December 13. This switch has been made so that the event does not clash with Fox’s NFL American football programming on Sundays.

Fox’s coverage of the Shootout will come ahead of the start of its new rights deal with the United States Golf Association. The USGA in August agreed a 12-year deal with Fox Sports for the broadcast rights to the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open Championships. The agreement commences in 2015 and runs through 2026, granting Fox major championship golf for the first time ever.