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Discovery and the PGA TOUR today announced plans to form a pioneering strategic alliance to create a new international multi-platform home for golf, delivering the sport’s most exciting moments, players and championships to passionate fans around the world on every screen and device. The alliance will seek to benefit the game worldwide, helping to drive golf’s fan base and grow the sport around the world.
The unprecedented 12-year relationship, to begin in 2019 and carry through 2030, would include global multi-platform live rights, outside the United States, to all PGA TOUR media properties totaling approximately 2000 hours of content per year, including 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 alliance will include the creation of a dedicated, PGA TOUR-branded, OTT video streaming service that will capitalize on Discovery’s direct-to-consumer product and platform expertise as home to the Eurosport Player. Discovery expects to invest more than $2 billion over the course of the alliance, 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.
Building on a heritage of world-class coverage and storytelling, Discovery will broadcast the PGA TOUR on its portfolio of pay-TV and free-to-air channels, digital and short-form platforms, and will work with the PGA TOUR on how to capture all access to the action and its extensive non-live and library rights for all media 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, said: “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.”
Since 2007, the PGA TOUR has negotiated all of its non-U.S. broadcast rights deals on its own. The alliance between Discovery and the PGA TOUR will capitalize on the two organizations’ expertise in managing international multi-platform rights and launching the new digital service. Working together, the parties expect to execute on a robust international distribution and broadcast partner strategy for the portfolio of some of golf’s most prestigious tournaments featuring the world’s greatest players, optimizing reach across free-to-air, pay-TV and digital.
The collaboration brings together two highly complementary global brands and storytellers with a rich heritage in sports, uniting the PGA TOUR’s rich content, production assets, media rights and worldwide media partner associations with Discovery’s deep expertise and relationships in local media markets worldwide, its vast marketing and promotional platforms globally and its proven record in maximizing multi-platform engagement around the biggest and most watched sports events.