U.S. Open switches to Fox under new USGA deal

The United States Golf Association has agreed a 12-year deal with the Fox Sports division of US network Fox 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.

Fox replaces the NBC network and sports broadcaster ESPN as the USGA’s principal domestic media partner. ESPN has traditionally televised the early rounds of the U.S. Open, while NBC aired the conclusion of the tournament. NBC’s current six-year deal with the USGA runs from 2009 to 2014.

Under the terms of the new agreement, the USGA and Fox Sports will deliver a total of 146 hours of championship golf, including a minimum of 70 cumulative hours of live event coverage of the three Opens.

In addition to the rights to the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open Championships, Fox Sports will also be home to the USGA’s national amateur championships and international team competitions, delivering a minimum of 76 hours of live broadcast coverage across its sports platforms, including Fox Sports 1, its new pay-television channel which launches on August 17.

USGA president Glen D. Nager said the deal is a “game-changer” for the organisation, adding: “The game is evolving and requires bold and unique approaches on many levels, and Fox shares our vision to seek fresh thinking and innovative ideas to deliver championship golf. This partnership will help us to better lead and serve the game in new and exciting ways.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.