When the USGA announced its 12-year broadcast rights deal with Fox Sports on the eve of the PGA Championship in early August, it was tantamount to the end of a 20-year relationship with NBC Sports.
Obviously looking to pump up the deal and its value, the folks at the USGA crafted a press release that hyped Fox and Fox Sports despite their never having broadcast a golf tournament of significance in their history. In an attempt to do that, the press release contained this line:
“The game is evolving and requires bold and unique approaches on many levels, and FOX shares our vision to seek fresh thinking and innovative ideas to deliver championship golf.”
According to reporting by Ron Sirak, NBC Sports Group and ESPN executives took exception to the notion that their coverage was neither fresh nor innovative.
NBC Sports Group president Mark Lazarus went on the record on Wednesday with his view of the USGA-Fox Sports deal and how it was announced in a conversation with John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.
"For the USGA to disparage us for the sake of a press release," Lazarus said, "I was offended by it."