The Seven Network and IMG have announced a multi-year broadcast partnership for the Australian Masters and Perth International over the next three years.
Seven was a long time partner of Australian golf until a few years ago when Ten, Nine and Fox Sports hit the fairway. Seven got back into broadcasting golf last year at the Emirates Australian Open, after Ten did not renew its rights to the One Asia tour event.
Today’s announcement sees Seven slip the gold jacket back on and build on its impressive sports portfolio that includes AFL, V8 Supercars, tennis, horse racing and sailing. It is now once again the home of golf in Australia.
Head of Sport for the Seven Network, Saul Shtein, commented:
“We are delighted to be extending our commitment to golf. Seven was the home of the Australian Masters for over twenty years through the height of the Greg Norman era. On the back of Adam Scott’s historic and memorable victory at Augusta in April it marks another exciting time for Australian golf and we look forward to broadcasting the event across Australia.
We are also delighted to be broadcasting the Perth International given our strong links with the people of Western Australia through Channel Seven Perth and The West Australian.”
IMG Australia (the promoters of both events) will be happy to see its two premier golf events in Australia broadcast on free-to-air TV, after both last year’s inaugural Perth International and the Australian Masters were broadcast on Fox Sports.
Seven has committed to broadcasting 20 hours of live national coverage for each event. There is no word at this stage whether Seven will utilise it multichannel sports strategy for the broadcast of these events. Although given the time difference between Australia’s east and west coast, it would not be surprising to see the Perth International broadcast on 7TWO or 7mate during early prime time hours on the east coast.
With live and national free-to-air coverage for at least the next three years, IMG Australia should have more luck this year selling title sponsorships to the tournaments. Also, as this is the first Australian golf season after Adam Scott’s historic win at the US Masters, a resurgence in the popularity of golf should follow, similar to the growth in cycling following Cadel Evans win of the Tour de France – the first by an Australian.
IMG Media will produce the broadcast for both events with overlay from Seven Sport under the direction of Saul Shtein. It is not clear whether this means Seven Sport’s graphics package will be used, or as with its Emirates Australian Open coverage, Seven will supply the commentary team but use the host broadcaster’s graphics package.
Australia’s other key golf tournament, the Australian PGA Championship, will be broadcast on Ten this year from its new location at the Gold Coast’s Royal Pines resort.