The European Tour has signed a media rights agreement with NBC, which will see one of its tournaments broadcast live on network television in the United States for the first time.
NBC will broadcast coverage from the Scottish Open, a key warm-up tournament for the Open Championship, over the next two years, with plans for two and a half hours of live coverage on the network on the final two days.
The tournament will be staged at Castle Stuart this year and at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in 2014.
NBC Sports' golf coverage is branded as Golf Channel. Golf Channel already broadcasts significant coverage of European Tour events to the United States.
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.”
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said the deal was a huge boost for the country and that the deal was brokered during last year's Ryder Cup in Chicago.
Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, title sponsor of the Scottish Open, added: “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 is thought likely that tee times for the leading players at the tournament, scheduled for 11th to 14th July this year, will be moved back, to maximise the US audience.
Picture shows 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open winner Jeev Milkha Singh posing with the trophy alongside George O’Grady, chief executive of the European Tour.