THE ASIAN TOUR has brokered a deal with Fox Sports to broadcast their tournaments live in Australia.
Under the new agreement, Fox Sports will begin coverage of the Asian Tour for the remainder of the 2009 season and through the new 2010 season.
The announcement comes a week after the rival OneAsia Tour, which is backed by the PGA of Australia, signed a global television partner to boost its profile.
The two Tours are at loggerheads as they fight for market share in the region, with OneAsia emerging this year as a real threat to the Asian Tour’s traditional dominance.
The Asian Tour announced Thursday that Fox would broadcast all of their tournaments live, as well as highlights and magazine shows.
“There is an abundance of talent on the Asian Tour and our Australian membership represents a big group of rising stars in world golf,” said Eric Lynge, the Asian Tour’s director of television and commercial affairs.
“Our association with Fox Sports will showcase Australia’s emerging players on their home soil and also the best of Asian golf to Australian golf fans.”
The Tour said the tie-up would prove to be an ideal partnership as the Asian Tour has provided the launch pad for Australia’s up-and-coming stars to harness their games and gain top-level exposure on the international stage.
Australian players represent one of the largest membership base on the Asian Tour where a total of 26 Australian players compete across the region.
This season, Darren Beck won his maiden Asian Tour title at the Brunei Open while Rick Kulacz claimed his second career victory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia.
Other leading Australians who have won on the Asian Tour include two-time winner David Gleeson and Scott Hend, who claimed victory at the Indonesia President Invitational last year and is currently fourth on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.
Jarrod Lyle and Andrew Buckle also found success on the Asian Tour before playing their way onto the US PGA Tour.
“The Asian Tour prides ourselves in delivering world-class and elite tournaments for our diversified membership which consists of nearly 30 different nationalities,” Lynge said.
Last week, the OneAsia Tour announced their own multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with the Singapore-based World Sport Group (WSG).
WSG will market and manage all sponsorships for OneAsia and oversee television production and distribution, with a brief to push coverage into not just the Asia-Pacific, but Europe and America.
On the surface, what it all seems to mean for Australian golf fans is more tournament golf viewing options.
The Asian Tour’s Omega Mission Hills World Cup currently being played in China is being telelcast free to air on Ten’s ONE Sports Channel.