Discovery adds European Tour rights

14 Dec 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

Discovery has agreed a rights deal with the European Tour, expanding the portfolio of its GOLFTV OTT platform, which already includes multiplatform rights to the PGA Tour in most international markets.

The new four-year partnership will see the European Tour and both the 2020 and 2022 Ryder Cups broadcast via the global live and on-demand video streaming platform, which is set to launch in January 2019.

The news follows last month’s announcement of an exclusive multi-year global agreement with Tiger Woods to develop exclusive content for subscribers to the GOLFTV service.

The venture was first announced in the summer, underpinned by Discovery’s 12-year international multi-platform rights agreement with the PGA Tour

The latest agreement further expands Discovery's footprint in the sport and will see GOLFTV cover over 40 live European Tour events in 2019.

They include every Race To Dubai event, all Rolex Series events, every World Golf Championships (WGC) event, as well as Golf Sixes, the Hero Challenge, European Challenge Tour and Staysure Tour.

As part of the deal, GOLFTV will also offer live coverage in selected territories of the next two Ryder Cups, due to be held in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin in 2020 and in Italy’s Marco Simone Golf & Country Club two years later.

The partnership will also Discovery  work together with the European Tour to grow digital assets, including the global website, the European Tour apps, potential new local websites and local European Tour social media accounts.

The network will be responsible for developing and optimising key aspects of the European Tour's digital operation, in areas such as technology, monetisation and advertising.

The European Tour will continue to provide content and editorial services for the digital platforms, and service its existing news and media clients.

Commenting on the agreement, Alex Kaplan, Discovery Golf President and General Manager said: “Welcoming the European Tour and The Ryder Cup into the GOLFTV world is a significant step in our journey to becoming a premier global destination for golf entertainment.

“To offer fans the chance to watch some of the biggest tournaments of the year week in and week out, featuring the world’s greatest players and their national heroes, is the perfect foundation of must-have content that fans can’t live without.”

Kaplan added: “Forging a deeper relationship with the European Tour to help develop and grow its digital assets highlights our long-term aim to build a true ecosystem around golf, leveraging Discovery’s global presence and expertise to achieve this at scale.”

Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, added: “This new partnership is an exciting move for us, allowing us to showcase the stars of the European Tour and our innovative content to a new audience.

“Discovery has a very a strong vision for GOLFTV as a multi-platform destination for golf and we are delighted to be combining our global reach in 2019.”