Thursday, January 11, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 11, 2001

Hawai'i hopes to cash in with new PGA-TV deal

Advertiser Staff

Kapalua’s Mark Rolfing said yesterday he was relieved that Tuesday’s deal between the PGA Tour and Hawaii Tourism Authority was finalized before the tour begins TV negotiations in the next few months.

The PGA Tour hopes to have a new four-year deal by the end of the summer.

Rolfing, who helped draft the golf agreement that secured Hawaii six annual professional men’s events through 2006, believes that contract could have a major impact on Hawaii’s events because of Tiger Woods.

According to most reports, events where Woods is in contention have more than double the ratings of other tournaments. The boom has been substantial, with golf ratings surpassing baseball and basketball, and trailing only the NFL in some instances.

Many think Woods’ influence will be reflected in detail in the new TV contract, which could be worth $1 billion over four years. If events Woods is likely to play cost more to cover, networks could want them moved to more user-friendly sites.

Rolfing said some Hawaii events, beginning with the Mercedes Championships — which Woods is almost assured of playing — would have been in jeopardy without Tuesday’s marketing relationship. The deal calls for the state spending nearly $10 million for the PGA Tour events in exchange for a commitment that the tournaments will remain in the state.

Hawaii’s package is the first comprehensive agreement for a state. Some single events have similar ties, Rolfing said.

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