Discovery Inks International Deal for PGA Tour Golf Rights

Courtesy of Getty Images
Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama

Courtesy of Getty Images Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama

Discovery Communications has struck a $2 billion exclusive rights deal with the PGA Tour that will give it live linear and digital rights (TV and multiplatform) to major PGA Tour events outside the U.S. through 2030, according to the PGA Tour site. This totals approximately 2,000 hours of content per year, including the six Tours operating under the PGA Tour umbrella and almost 150 tournaments annually, including the Players Championship, FedExCup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup.

The partnership's top priority is a direct-to-consumer platform that not only streams the PGA's almost 150 tournaments each year, but also offers one-stop viewing for golf fans who want to watch highlights, learn about the sport's history or even improve their game with video lessons.

Discovery will get global TV and online rights to all PGA tour media properties, including tournaments such as The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup. Back in 2015, it bought the European rights to the Olympics. As well as the linear service, there is an on-demand and streaming service, Eurosport Player, which was central to its Winter Olympics coverage. They are now in the PGA Tour business and that's not something you're going to walk away from.

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The move marks a distinct break with previous practice for the PGA Tour, which has since 2007 negotiated all of its non-U.S. broadcast rights deals on its own.

"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".

The PGA Tour announced the plans on Monday, which will see Discovery - the American broadcaster that also controls Eurosport - take command of all media operations outside the US.

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"We think that is a market with enormous growth potential", Monahan said.

David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, said the relationship will create "the new global Home of Golf".

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