NBC, home to NBC Sports' stellar portfolio including the summer and winter Olympic Games, NFL's Sunday Night Football and every Ryder Cup since 1991 through to the recent contest in Medinah, will broadcast two and a half hours of live coverage on each of the final two days' play from Castle Stuart Golf Links in 2013 and Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in 2014. NBC Sports' golf coverage is presented as Golf Channel on NBC and complements Golf Channel's season-long coverage of European Tour events, including the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Until now, only Major Championships, World Golf Championships and leading team events connected to The European Tour have been shown live on American broadcast networks and so this two-year agreement between the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and NBC Sports opens up new horizons for one of the most prestigious titles on the Tour.
As part of the new arrangement, title sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management, which is eager to promote its global asset management business in the United States, will have the opportunity to advertise and engage in promotional activity around the broadcast, as will the tournament's other principal backers, the Scottish Government.
Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: "The US is one of our most important markets and therefore we are very supportive of this new agreement with NBC and the Golf Channel. The opportunities for us to promote the Aberdeen brand in the US are fantastic. It's a very effective way for us to reach a mass audience and showcase not only our commitment to [Scottish] golf and to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open but also raise our profile as a leading global financial institution."
The Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP, Scotland's First Minister, commented: "This historic agreement with NBC and the Golf Channel will see the Scottish Open become the first regular European Tour event to be given prime-time coverage on US network television. It is a fantastic boost for Scottish golf and an incredible opportunity for Scotland to showcase the magnificent scenery of the Highlands and the fantastic golf on offer at Castle Stuart and across the country to tens of millions of US viewers.
"This is an agreement brokered on the course at the recent Ryder Cup in Medinah, and I know from my time at that tournament that US golf fans have an incredible affinity for Scotland as the undisputed Home of Golf. This deal will help feed the appetite for coverage of Scottish events across the Atlantic and cement the reputation of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open as one of the jewels in the crown of the European Tour schedule.
"Within the last few weeks, another US TV network - CNN - said Scotland was the must-see destination of 2013. Today's announcement will see NBC covering Scotland's premier golf tournament live on its network. It is a great boost for Scottish golf, a great boost for Scottish tourism and a fantastic thing for Scotland."
Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports, said: "Showcasing the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in concert on both NBC and Golf Channel is yet another example of the strength of the NBC Sports Group."
Tom Knapp, Senior Vice President of Programming for Golf Channel, said: "Having the ability to seamlessly extend coverage of The European Tour between its regular home on the Golf Channel and our broadcast platform, Golf Channel on NBC, illustrates the impact our shared resources can bring to events like the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open."
George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, added: "Following the vision and leadership of the Golf Channel, we are delighted to enter into this historic new agreement with NBC for live coverage of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open for the next two years. It speaks volumes for the quality of the European Tour product, and specifically the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, that one of our most prestigious championships will be shown to a new audience on one of the prime TV networks in the United States in conjunction with our already outstanding coverage on the Golf Channel."