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Golf Channel, Golf Network to Combine Assets in Japan

Golf Channel Japan is teaming up with competitor Golf Network to combine assets and create a single, co-branded golf channel in that country. It was described as a long-term strategic partnership.

That news came in a press conference in Tokyo, announced by Golf Channel President Mike McCarley and Golf Network President Masashi Ishi, complete with videotaped congrats from some of the game's biggest names including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Golf Channel has been going head to head with Golf Network since Golf Channel launched in that country in 1996. Golf Network has twice the homes of Golf Channel, so when the combined channel relaunches on April 1, 2012, Golf Channel will have three times its previous reach, or about 7.2 million homes, according to a spokesperson for the channel.

Goflf Channel has the rights to PGA tour events, while Golf Network has rights to the Japanese tour. The balance will be roughly a 50/50 split of original content from both channels, according to the spokesperson.