They've Got An Out Clause!

AP Business writer Deborah Yo filed this comprehensive piece on the new PGA Tour TV deal and dug up stuff I don't believe I've read elsewhere.

The Golf Channel is available in 75 million homes compared with 92 million homes for ESPN. Manougian said the channel currently is in at least 85 percent of basic video tiers. The Golf Channel is part of the digital package of Cox Communications and Cablevision.

Note that Yo says it's available in 75 million homes, which would differ from the implication that GC is in 75 million homes.

Asked whether the contract has an exit clause, Manougian would only say that "any contract has disaster clauses, whether it's a one-year deal or a 20-year deal. There's nothing out of ordinary about this contract."

That's a non-confirmation confirmation, right?

Some nitty gritty numbers of interest...

It helps that Comcast isn't only counting on ad revenue to offset the Tour's rights fees. It charges cable and satellite providers 21 cents per subscriber per month, a fraction of ESPN's average monthly fee of $2.60. And Golf Channel officials say they aren't planning an immediate increase to offset the costs of the PGA Tour contract -- another bet that in doing so, they will be able to get picked up on more cable systems.

In 2005, 63 percent of the Golf Channel's $267.5 million in revenue came from license fees, according to Kagan Research in Monterey, Calif. Cash flow was $116.7 million. For 2006, Kagan is projecting a 13 percent increase in revenues to $302.5 million and cash flow of $139 million.