Discovery signs global PGA Tour agreement

05 Jun 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

Discovery and the PGA Tour have announced plans to create a new international multi-platform home for golf, after confirming a new 12-year partnership from 2019.

The agreement includes global multi-platform live rights, outside the United States, to all PGA Tour media properties with approximately 2,000 hours of content per year. The rights include the six Tours operating under the PGA Tour umbrella and nearly 150 tournaments annually, including The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, and the Presidents Cup. 

In addition to live linear rights in 220 markets and territories, the new alliance will also include the creation of a dedicated, PGA Tour-branded, OTT video streaming service - capitalising on Discovery’s platform expertise as home to the Eurosport Player.

The announcement covers 21 markets, including Australia, South Korea and Canada.

In the UK, PGA Tour has an existing agreement with Sky Sports until 2022, with the new Discovery agreement to take over from there. The European Tour, meanwhile, has an agreement with Sky that concludes at the end of this year.

Discovery expects to invest more than $2bn over the course of the agreement, including licensing of the PGA Tour’s international media rights and building a global OTT platform available outside the United States, with a gradual increase of annual investment during the term.

Discovery will broadcast the PGA Tour on its portfolio of pay-TV and free-to-air channels, digital and short-form platforms.

David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery, said: “Today is a fantastic day for golf fans around the world as Discovery proudly partners with the PGA TOUR to create something that has never been done before. The long-term partnership between the PGA TOUR and Discovery will create the new global Home of Golf, including delivering over 2000 hours of live content year-round and this prestigious sport’s greatest moments, stories and athletes. 

“Following our successful first Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Discovery will contribute its strong global distribution and promotional infrastructure, in-market relationships, global sports expertise with direct-to-consumer platforms and brands to create a valuable new long-term Home of Golf offering in every market outside the US.”

Jay Monahan, commissioner, PGA Tour, added: “This is an exciting next step for the PGA TOUR, which presents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate and expand our media business outside the United States, better service our international broadcast partners, and drive fan growth with a deeply experienced strategic global partner. 

“This partnership aligns very well with the opening of PGA Tour offices in London, Tokyo and Beijing in recent years and will support our long-term objectives of growing the game of golf. It also will deliver more value to our sponsors as it presents a tremendous opportunity to engage new and diverse audiences around the world.”