CBS Sports Prepares For Golf Changes

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — CBS Sports, which already has gone through additions and subtractions going into its golf season, had one of the biggest changes when Lance Barrow announced he was stepping down as producer after the 2020 season.

Barrow will be succeeded by Sellers Shy, who will increase his duties next year.

Shy will be only the third coordinating producer for golf at CBS over the last 60 years. Frank Chirkinian had that role from 1959 until he retired in 1996 and was replaced by Barrow.

Barrow first joined CBS in 1976 as a spotter and researcher for Pat Summerall during NFL games. In addition to golf, he was coordinating producer of the NFL and lead producer from 2004 to 2017, along with producing four Super Bowls. He has won 12 Emmy Awards at CBS.

Barrow stays on in an advisory role.

“For over 40 years, Lance has embodied the tradition and history of CBS Sports golf and set the standard of excellence in golf production,” said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports. “He is a golf institution and has been a tremendous ambassador of the sport on behalf of CBS Sports.”

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Shy first worked with CBS as a spotter during the 1987 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic in Memphis. He has produced the PGA Tour, NFL, NCAA basketball and highlight shows for the Masters and PGA Championship during his career at CBS. Shy currently produces the Asia Pacific Amateur and Latin America Amateur.

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Over the last few months, the contracts of Peter Kostis and Gary McCord were not renewed. Davis Love III is joining CBS in an analyst’s role. Frank Nobilo will go to CBS Sports on a full-time basis, with additional roles for Mark Immelman and his brother, former Masters champion Trevor Immelman. CBS also has hired Michelle Wie.

TV DEAL

Sports Business Journal is reporting on a new television contract with the PGA Tour that looks similar to the one in place now, with one big change at the end of the year.

In a daily newsletter, John Ourand of Sports Business Journal cited multiple sources in reporting that CBS and NBC have agreed on broad terms that would keep them as the main networks for PGA Tour coverage. SBJ says the rights fee would increase by about 60% and that the deal would be another nine-year agreement through 2030.

SBJ also reported the tour has agreed to terms with Golf Channel.

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The change, according to the newsletter, is that CBS and NBC would alternate years covering the FedEx Cup playoffs. Currently, CBS broadcasts the first playoff event, with NBC having the BMW Championship and Tour Championship. That would be the first time for CBS to broadcast the Tour Championship, which previously was shown only on ABC and then NBC during the FedEx Cup era.

Any deal is not expected to be finalized or announced until the first quarter of next year.

Still to be determined are digital rights for PGA Tour coverage, which currently belong to NBC Sports as part of the live streaming “PGA Tour Live” of featured groups before network coverage begins. SBJ says ESPN and Discovery are part of the negotiations; Discovery currently has international rights.

Another part of the puzzle is what this deal means for the LPGA Tour, which is having the PGA Tour negotiate its next TV contract. Golf Channel broadcasts the majority of LPGA events, and there were times that LPGA events were shown on tape delay. Golf Channel also has a current deal to air the PGA Tour Champions and Korn Ferry Tour events.


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