ESS secures multi-year rights for US Open golf tourney

MUMBAI: Hot on the heels of acquiring the rights to next month's Asia Cricket Cup, ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has announced that it has renewed the multi-year cable and satellite rights for the US Open Golf Championships.

Other golf tourneys that already air on the network include the Augusta Masters, the Open Championships, the World Golf Championships (WGC) as well as the Grand Slam of Golf.

The new five-year United States Golf Association (USGA) broadcast package also includes live coverage of the US Senior Open Championships, the US Women's Open Championship and the US Amateur Championships.

ESS MD Rik Dovey said, "This is part of the network's ongoing effort to deliver top-flight must-see programming to viewers across Asia. Golf's popularity is on the rise and golf enthusiasts in Asia want their fill of the best the sport has to offer.

"Asia's growing interest in the sport can also be attributed to the star power of the players - viewers are more knowledgeable about the game, the players as well as all the off-the-fairway news and happenings surrounding the sport.

"It has been refreshing to see Asian golfers such as Shigeki Maruyama (Japan), KJ Choi (Korea), Arjun Atwal (India) and Chang Lian-wei (China) showing themselves to be strong contenders on the international golfing stage. The presence and the success of these Asian sporting talents have a direct correlation to the viewership of the sport on our network. This is helped by the fact that our live golf programming is without a doubt the most expansive in the region."

On the ad front the broadcaster has stated that it is seeing signs of continued upward growth. It has claimed that sponsorship and spot rate packages for all its major golf programming are completely selling out. Broadcast partners include Rolex and Mission Hills

All four rounds of the 104th US Open Championships are airing in over 128 million homes on ESPN.

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