WGN America will tee off its coverage of the World Series of Golf event in late June.
Combining amateur golf play with betting aspects, the third annual event is slated to be played May 11-14, 2009 at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort.
Beginning on June 27 and 28, WGN, which counts some 71 million households, will air 13 original hours, plus 13 encores through September 19 and 20. Saturday coverage is tentatively slated to begin at 1 p.m. (ET); Sunday coverage is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. During its first two years, CBS aired a pair of hours apiece from the event.
The World Series of Golf is open to all amateur golfers age 21 and older. Proprietary play incorporates a $10,000 entry fee. Players ante at each tee box. After teeing off in a pre-determined order, they have the option to call or raise the bets of competitors in their pairing, or to fold the hole. Players who fold lose any bets they have committed to the pot and rejoin play on the next tee.
Players who remain in the action continue to bet prior to each subsequent shot, building the pot as they move from the tee to the green. The player who wins the hole - either by stroke count or by forcing his or her competitors to fold - wins the pot.
Players are eliminated when their $10,000 purse is exhausted or so depleted they cannot pay the ante on the next tee. Players who win their initial pairing advance to the tournament's second round and recoup their $10,000 buy-in. Players who win their second-round pairing advance to the final round and are guaranteed a cash prize of at least $30,000. The winner of the event receives a cash prize of $300,000.
"This agreement is a cornerstone of our long-range strategic plan to build the World Series of Golf brand, increase value for our shareholders and partners, and maximize our visibility among new audiences," said World Series of Golf president Terry Leiweke. "The enhanced broadcast platform we have established with WGN America will introduce our high-stakes format combining the best of golf and no-limit hold'em poker to millions of potential event participants nationwide."
Noted Tribune Broadcasting senior vice president of programming and development Sean Compton: "The World Series of Golf will resonate with WGN America's viewers seeking the best in sports and entertainment programming, and we are pleased to add the series to WGN America's summer lineup."