Discovery, PGA Tour tee up $2 billion global rights deal

Discovery, PGA Tour tee up $2 billion global rights deal

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

The partnership between the pair will kick off next year and carry through to 2030, encompassing the distribution of about 2,000 hours of content a year, including the six Tours operating under the PGA Tour umbrella and almost 150 tournaments annually, including The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, and the Presidents Cup.

Discovery will distribute tour events on its regular TV channels and a new streaming service. The latter tournament is scheduled to be held in December 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.

The agreement for TV and digital rights to PGA Tour events in all territories outside the US runs for 12 years, and comes after the company made a major statement of intent in live sports with a deal for Olympics rights in Europe between 2018-2024. Three years ago, the Silver Spring, Md. -based programmer acquired the pan-European media rights to the Olympics. And while this strengthens Discovery's Eurosport in Europe, the networks also hopes that this deal will pay dividends in Asia where the PGA Tour is looking to grow golf.

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The business will be led by Discovery's Alex Kaplan, president and general manager of the new Discovery and PGA Tour venture.

"Today there are roughly 50 million people around the world that play the game", Monahan said, adding that golf is a "$170 billion industry, with 55 percent of the participation coming outside the U.S".

David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, said the relationship will create "the new global Home of Golf". Given the game's global flavor, the PGA came to the conclusion that the ever-expanding Discovery made for an ideal overseas broadcast partner.

"What else do they want to see? If you love golf, you've got to have it'".

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