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European Tour renews deal with Golf Channel

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Rory McIlroy has helped build the European Tour and on Wednesday Golf Channel extended its relationship with the Tour. (USATSI)
Rory McIlroy has helped build the European Tour and on Wednesday Golf Channel extended its relationship with the Tour. (USATSI)

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On Wednesday the European Tour announced that it has agreed to extend its contract with Golf Channel for 10 more years through 2024.

European Tour CEO George O'Grady said he's pleased with Golf Channel's work and looking forward to the future.

"We are delighted to announce this 10-year extension to our agreement, which is further compelling evidence of the continued appeal of the European Tour, through our showcasing of the game and the immense talent being discovered in all countries where our tournaments take place."

Golf Channel also reports that since it joined NBC Sports Group in 2011, the European Tour has seen nearly a 60 percent increase in viewership.

They hit the jackpot with Phil Mickelson's Scottish Open win this year before the British Open -- an event that aired on NBC on the weekend.

Golf Channel president Mike McCarley also sounds excited to continue the relationship.

"The European Tour's regular morning timeslot has kicked off Golf Channel's tournament coverage days since the network's launch, and this extension further solidifies our strong partnership, which now will span three decades with this new agreement."

Golf Channel does a good job with its coverage and it's perfect for a niche audience like a.m. watchers of the European Tour.

I do wonder how much effort there was from other networks, like Fox which just got the US Open. Because of the time difference it seems like Golf Channel is the only place that makes sense long-term for this type of programming, at least on a consistent basis.

I'll also be interested to see if the rumors about the PGA Tour buying out the European Tour ever go anywhere. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem denied them but it's not difficult to see something like that happening.

Since both have deals with the Golf Channel that clears what could potentially be a big hurdle in the alleged buyout.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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