On Wednesday, the PGA Tour announced that Facebook will stream live Saturday and Sunday coverage of eight tournaments leading up to the 2018 FedEx Cup Playoffs. The streams will air for free on Facebook Watch in the United States and will incorporate interactive elements where viewers can comment and ask questions.
“We are thrilled to add Facebook to an already impressive lineup of global digital and broadcast partners,” said Chris Wandell, VP of media business development for the PGA Tour, in a statement. “The PGA TOUR has put a premium on distributing exclusive content on emerging media platforms with a goal of reaching new and diverse audiences.”
Facebook’s coverage will follow two featured groups teeing off in the third and fourth rounds of each tournament, and will run until the Golf Channel’s lead-in coverage starts. Over the eight tournaments, Facebook will stream a total of more than 60 hours. The first event featured will be the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. on Jun. 23 and Jun. 24. The stream is available through the PGA Tour Live show Facebook page.
“Golf brings people together,” said Devi Mahadevia, Facebook’s North America live sports programming lead, in a statement. “We’re delighted to partner with the PGA TOUR to help it reach new fans and deliver interactive, live coverage on Facebook that taps into the social nature of the sport.”
Facebook already streamed more that 30 hours of coverage from The Players Championship in May, before this new deal was announced. Outside of golf, the social media platform has been building up its coverage across the sports spectrum. A CrossFit stream in late-March broke a streaming record for the fitness competition, one Friday night BIG3 basketball game per week will be available through Facebook this summer, and MLB continues to experiment with streaming through the social network.
Streaming has become a major competitor to traditional linear broadcasts, and during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, streaming audiences are predicted to come close to TV audiences for the first time. During Mexico’s 1-0 win over Germany on Saturday, Telemundo set a new streaming record for the network, with 1.1 million viewers. But streaming isn’t yet bug-free. An Australian telecommunications company temporarily handed over a share of World Cup streaming rights to a TV rival after major problems with its streams at the start of the tournament.