Television wars continue as CTV takes Masters deal away from Global

When Jordan Spieth tries to hang on to his green jacket next April, Canadians will be watching him on CTV.   REUTERS/Jim Young
When Jordan Spieth tries to hang on to his green jacket next April, Canadians will be watching him on CTV. REUTERS/Jim Young

Canadian golf fans will soon be enjoying the spoils of war.

The fight for viewers' eyeballs between Rogers and Bell Media continues to rage, with the battlefield switching to the golf course this week when CTV announced it had secured Canadian rights to the final two rounds of the Masters.

That means Bell-owned TSN will continue to carry the first two rounds of golf's most-watched tournament while CTV now shows the final two, which were previously seen on Global. So now it's all in the family.

While that may seem like nothing more than one network outbidding another for a hot property, it means a whole lot more than that to both Bell and golf lovers.

For the latter, it means more coverage as TSN will expand its broadcast window to start at 11 a.m. ET and include coverage that was previously seen only online. So those who had to turn to their computers, tablets or smartphones to watch coverage of Amen Corner and featured groups on the first two days can now do so by turning to TSN.

TSN will also use its five feeds to give viewers a variety of Masters options. As part of the deal, RDS will carry the tournament in French.

Terms were not disclosed, but if this deal is similar to other recent contracts, it will be for at least five years.

“TSN’s five national feeds are built to offer more sports and more choice to our subscribers, and this new partnership with the Masters is a perfect fit for our five-feed strategy,” TSN programming head Shawn Redmond said in a statment. “Our expanded coverage will allow fans to watch live action from the Masters earlier in the day, with the unique TSN benefit of being able to choose from multiple viewing options. This is a big win for golf fans and TSN subscribers. ”While golf fans will be celebrating, other sports fans should be eyeing this deal with some hope.

With Rogers-owned Sportsnet overtaking TSN in the ratings for the first time, Bell is fighting back by securing more properties. Last week, TSN outbid Rogers for the ATP package and promises more coverage.

While sharing the Masters with Global benefitted TSN for several years, having the entire package in the family comes with some advantages.

In the past, CTV didn't really promote TSN's Masters weekday coverage as extensively as it could have. Understandably, there wasn't much in pushing a product that was moving to a competitor on the weekend, where the real big ratings come.

Now, CTV can give the Masters the full treatment, which should boost ratings for the big network. If any of that seeps down to TSN, then Bell has made some progress.

It will also be interesting to see what happens when Global's PGA deal comes up for renewal in a couple of years.