Discovery lands $2bn PGA Tour deal

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Discovery and the PGA Tour have formed a strategic alliance to create a new international multi-platform home for golf. The companies say the alliance will seek to benefit the game worldwide, helping to drive golf’s fan base and grow the sport around the world.

The 12 year relationship, to begin in 2019 and carry through 2030, will include global multi-platform live rights, outside the US, 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 capitalise 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 US, 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, 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, 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.”

The business will be led by Discovery’s Alex Kaplan, President and General Manager of the new Discovery and PGA Tour venture. Kaplan previously was EVP, Commercial for Eurosport Digital.

Kaplan said: “I am incredibly excited to work with David Zaslav and JB Perrette to take international coverage of PGA Tour golf to the next level.  We can’t wait to get started and build a world-class global platform and long-term distribution strategy to turn the vision of this partnership into a reality. By joining forces with the outstanding PGA Tour team, led by Jay Monahan and Rick Anderson, we have a unique opportunity to build an amazing product that will serve the fans with the golf content they love on every screen.”


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