ESPN, ESPN+ Pick Up PGA Championship Tournament Rights

ESPN and its streaming service ESPN+ have scored a long-term deal with PGA of America to cover the prestigious PGA Championship golf tournament beginning in 2020.

The 11-year agreement calls for ESPN and ESPN+ to cover the first two rounds of the tournament, with CBS Sports airing live coverage of the final two rounds of the event, according to the parties involved.

Brooks Koepka won the 2018 PGA Championship golf tournament, which will air on ESPN and CBS beginning in 2020

Brooks Koepka won the 2018 PGA Championship golf tournament, which will air on ESPN and CBS beginning in 2020

ESPN, which aired the first two rounds of the event in 1982 and 1983 as well as from 1985 to 1990, regains the rights currently held by Turner Sports and TNT. CBS has covered the tournament since 1991.

“This agreement is going to be great for golf fans and is significant for ESPN and ESPN+,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling in a statement. “The PGA will bolster ESPN’s diverse collection of big events and deliver another world-class competition to the ESPN+ platform and its growing audience. We look forward to working with the PGA of America to help increase the sport’s popularity.”

ESPN will provide exclusive coverage of the first and second rounds of the tournament – which will take place in May instead of August beginning in 2020 -- across its linear ESPN channel as well as ESPN+. 

 For the third and final rounds, ESPN and ESPN+ will have multiple hours of live coverage throughout the morning, leading into the CBS telecast later in the day, while ESPN+ will continue with featured groups and featured hole coverage during the weekend afternoon windows, said the company. 

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.