Less than five years into what was a reported 12-year, $1.1 billion agreement, it appears the USGA and Fox Sports have parted ways.
According to a report published by the Associated Press on Sunday evening, the two sides have ended their agreement and NBC Sports will return as the television host for the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to be played in September at Winged Foot Golf Club outside New York City.
NBC Sports will pick up the remaining seven years from the Fox Sports contract, which also includes the U.S. Women’s Open, the U.S. Amateur and other events, the report said.
It would be a seismic move, ending Fox Sports’ sometimes tumultuous tenure as the rights holder for USGA events, highlighted by the U.S. Open. It also would move the American national championship back to NBC, where it had been a fixture as the event’s host for many years.
Fox Sports debuted as host of the U.S. Open in 2015 when Jordan Spieth won at Chambers Bay. The event was controversial for multiple reasons, including the condition of the unconventional golf course and the manner in which Fox Sports broadcast the event.
Viewers were vocal in their criticism of the new television approach, though Fox Sports continued to adjust its telecasts, including replacing analyst Greg Norman with Paul Azinger and Brad Faxon.
An official announcement of the USGA’s new television agreement could come as early as Monday.
Ron Green Jr.