This week, the PGA of America announced that it will move the PGA Championship from August to May (either in the third or fourth week of the month) starting in 2019. Now this does three things. First it avoids the NFL which starts up with its preseason in August. Second, it also avoids the Olympics which the PGA Championship has to deal with every four years and had to move to July last year. And third, it allows golf to have major tournaments in consecutive months from April through June.

For CBS, one might think this is an inconvenience, but actually, this is something that the Tiffany Network wants. CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a conference call last week that he actually prefers having the PGA Championship in May:

“We love having the PGA Championship in August. I think we’ll love having it even more in May, quite frankly.”

Perhaps that was some foreshadowing from McManus in anticipation of this week’s announcement. But with the PGA Championship occurring in May, it gives CBS two majors back-to-back along with The Masters. Plus, with May being a ratings sweeps month, it can charge higher ad rates for the event.

CBS and Turner’s contract to air the PGA Championship expires in 2019, but negotiations will likely begin next year. While NBC would love to take these rights away and give Golf Channel another major, however, the Peacock is quite busy in May considering that in the timesframe that is being considered, it would carry the Preakness Stakes and the NHL Playoffs. It would be tough to slot it in for NBC.

With Turner carrying the NBA Playoffs in May, the PGA Championship would be a nice sports lead-in to games especially on Thursday nights. With ESPN usually carrying games on Friday nights, that would not be a concern, but this would give the CBS/Turner partnership to carry into May after the NCAA Tournament which usually ends in early April.

With most of the major sports properties locked up into the next decade and beyond, the PGA Championship is one of the few events that will have its contract expire before 2020. CBS/Turner would like to keep the status quo with the PGA Championship and it will be interesting to see what happens next year when negotiations begin.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • eddie

    but will happan in 2020 on tnt due nba playoffs on Thursday nights and it might impact pga championship due west coast in 2020 and can they work to reniew like turner sports might get all the pga of america rights like men and woman and senior golf and it will contine on the east coast in 2021 and beyond lead to nba playoffs or espn might get the golf coverage like the masters in april and possble pga of america on espn and cbs or fox or nbc sports may bid. this is really tough win to bid. i think cbs/turner reniew or other media

  • Donny Peer

    With the move of the PGA Championships to May Turner Sports will most likely have to find new Hosts for it too! Because it’s 2 current Hosts for the PGA Championships Ernie Johnson and Brian Anderson already have obligations to work the NBA Playoffs for Turner Sports in May.

    • eddie

      what about in 2020 on the west coast on tnt or tbs due nba playoffs.

      For example golf 1-7pm and it will start 4-10pm due 3 hours ahead in the west coast in 2020 and who wil air golf or nba playoffs on tnt or tbs of overflow due golf