Discovery, PGA Tour Agree to 12-Year Rights Deal to Create “Netflix” of Golf

New prime-ranked golfer Justin Thomas is proven hitting a chip through the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale on July 20, 2017 in Southport, England. (Photograph by Stuart Franklin/Getty Photographs)

Discovery’s portfolio of tv networks is greatest recognized for its way of life manufacturers (HGTV, Meals Community) and its nature programming (Discovery Channel, Animal Planet), however the media firm has now expanded its worldwide sports attain by way of a brand new rights settlement with the PGA Tour.

The 12-yr, $2-billion settlement will run from 2019 by way of 2030, and consists of international TV and multi-platform rights outdoors the U.S. for almost one hundred fifty annual tournaments. Half of the partnership is the deliberate creation of a PGA Tour-branded OTT streaming service that Discovery David Zaslav referred to as a “Netflix” of golf in a publish-announcement interview. Zaslav singled out Asia as “an enormous alternative.”

Whereas Discovery has little sports presence within the U.S., the corporate owns and operates Eurosport throughout the previous continent. Eurosport has in depth rights offers to broadcast the Olympic Video games and Wimbledon in addition to a collection of different agreements for every nation’s viewers. Discovery partnered with BAMTech in 2016 on the creation of BAMTech Europe; Eurosport Digital turned the brand new firm’s first shopper.

Longtime sports media government Alex Kaplan—whose resumé consists of stops operating the NBA’s international media distribution and overseeing the creation of DirecTV Sports activities—will lead Discovery’s new golf enterprise as its president and basic supervisor. He most just lately had been an EVP for Eurosport Digital.

SportTechie Takeaway

U.S. residents gained’t discover a distinction—Shark Week will nonetheless air, and Fixer Higher isn’t coming again—however this deal alerts the continuation of a sea change overseas. Discovery’s current Olympics deal that started with the 2018 Winter Video games earlier this yr was its first declare of main unique sports rights. This new PGA Tour settlement builds on that exponentially, as Discovery will now have rights to 2,000 hours of stay programming annually moderately than only a two-week occasion each different yr.