The US Open returns to NBC starting this year on Winged Foot after Fox Sports has asked to terminate its 12-year contract with the USGA, several people told The Associated Press on Sunday night.
Three people with direct knowledge of the change say it came together in the last two weeks. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not announced.
An announcement was expected Monday.
The US Open, which was originally scheduled to play last week, was postponed to 17-20. September at Winged Foot in New York when the COVID-19 pandemic capped golf for three months.
The NBC television set US Open from 1995 to 2014. It ended when the USGA signed a 12-year deal with Fox Sports worth around a billion dollars beginning in 201
Fox sent its first U.S. Open from Chambers Bay south of Seattle, with Greg Norman as its chief analyst. He was replaced by former PGA champion and Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger.
One person said that NBC would pay for just under half the rights fee through the rest of the contract.
Two other people said the deal began to take shape this month, especially with the US Open being moved to September during the NFL's opening month.
One person said Fox is considering moving the US Open to FS1, an idea that was rejected by Mike Davis, USGA CEO. This led to deeper conversations about the contract and how it could be resolved.
Fox Sports was always in a tough spot from the start of the contract because the USGA championship – primarily Open and Amateurs – was the only golf it produced.
The sources said that NBC would have the last seven years of the contract through 2026. They did not say who would televise the first rounds of the US Open. During the previous contract with NBC, ESPN had the rounds on Thursday and Friday.
ESPN now has the weekday rounds of the PGA Championship starting this year, with CBS making the weekend.
The agreement Comcast-owned NBC, along with the Golf Channel, US Open and British Open, Players Players, three golf world championships, Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup. It will also have FedEx Cup playoffs every other year as the new media rights agreement with the PGA Tour begins.
NBC and the Golf Channel will also have all the major subjects of the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions.
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