Golf Channel keeps Euro Tour


Golf Channel said Tuesday that it has inked an agreement making the Comcast Corp.-owned network the exclusive home of European Tour events telecast in the U.S., Canada and Japan through 2014.

Golf Channel, which featured a European Tour event (Dubai Desert Classic) as its first-ever tournament telecast in 1995, will continue to televise at least 32 European Tour events each year under the new agreement, which is effective immediately.

The new partnership also gives Golf Channel additional European Tour content rights for Internet and wireless applications as well as exclusive broadcast rights in Japan to the 2010 and 2014 Ryder Cups. In addition, the network has the option to air the magazine show "European Tour Weekly."

For 2007, European Tour players competed for annual prize money that exceeded $190 million. The 2008 tour schedule features 52 events, which will be played in 25 countries.

As part of the 2008 schedule, the tour recently announced the "Race to Dubai," kicking off in November with a $10 million bonus pool. The 2008 tour also will host tournaments for the first time in India and Korea.

"Our viewers love the top-quality golf, the exotic locales and the distinctive announcing style of Renton Laidlaw and the rest of the European Tour team," Golf Channel president Page Thompson said.