I'm a little surprised there has not been more sports media world reaction to the NCAA locking in the golf championships with Golf Channel through 2029.
Given the constant chatter about the demise of pay cable and possibilties of streaming, the NCAA chose not to go down that latter path (there had been rumblings!).
Granted, this is not the NBA or NFL, but most rights deals are very closely watched and at least in the golf world, this was a potential content for CBS Sports Network or the PGA Tour's possible entry into the space. The length of the deal is also eye-opening given the supposed uncertainty of rights deals and the difficulty in trying to get the NCAA back on television (where it has since thrived).
From Brentley Romine's Golfweek report:
“This is an important day for NCAA golf, our student-athletes, coaches and fans,” said Joni Comstock, NCAA senior vice president of championships. “The partnership with Golf Channel has resulted in live broadcast of several milestone moments in both the men’s and women’s championships over the last several years, and we anticipate more exciting moments in the years ahead. Providing access and a media platform that gives our golf student-athletes more visibility and news coverage shows unified support for the game. This also allows others the opportunity to see the outstanding play of our student-athletes who excel in the classroom and on the course.”
Given the expenditure by Golf Channel on the production side, I'd also note this deal is another huge victory for team match play as a format. Not that a boost was given, but since the NCAA switched to this format and memorable finishes have ensued, it's another hint that television has fully embraced a format beyond stroke play.