According to news accounts today (Globe and Mail, Score Golf, Toronto Star), Canwest Global has picked up the Presidents Cup telecast for Canada next year. Additionally TSN could not come to terms with the Golf Channel on Canadian coverage. That means a lot less golf on traditional Canadian televisions — as only those with digital coverage from Shaw or Rogers have access to Golf Channel broadcasts on Thursday and Friday. That means very few Canadians will get to see the first day of play from most tournaments. Apparently this is progress and market expansion, according to PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who signed a 15-year TV deal with the Golf Channel.
Perhaps the most extraordinary issue is this — no longer will the Canadian Open be produced in Canada. That means very little coverage and even less coverage of Canadian players. As the Toronto Star points out:
The biggest is that next year’s Canadian Open will be available on TSN and Global, although it will no longer be produced by Canadians. Both have indicated they will add Canadian content, but it sure won’t be what we’re accustomed to and we’ll almost surely get less coverage.
Of course we should all be outraged by this and one would have thought the Canadians running the show for the Canadian Open (in this case, the RCGA, which largely pays for the telecasts) would have intervened. Maybe they tried and they were steamrolled by Finchem, as they have regularly been in recent years.
Regardless this is a bad place for Canadian golf and may just be another nail in the coffin of the Canadian Open.