March 9, 2020
The PGA Tour March 9 announced new nine-year domestic media rights portfolio covering 2022 to 2030 with CBS and NBC for broadcast and pay-TV, while for the first time signing exclusive over-the-top video rights to Disney-owned ESPN+, including standalone PGA Tour Live subscription streaming video service.
“Following a comprehensive process of studying the market, talking to all interested parties and analyzing our various options … we are excited to be back in business with Disney and ESPN+,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.
For the first time, the Tour’s digital rights in the U.S. were negotiated concurrently with its linear TV offering. As a result of the new agreement, SVOD platform PGA Tour Live, launched in 2015, will live exclusively on ESPN+ beginning in 2022, dubbed “PGA Tour Live on ESPN+.”
Rick Anderson, chief media officer with PGA Tour, said the deal gives the pro golf tour the opportunity to expand and “diversify audiences.”
ESPN+ has about 7.6 million subscribers (as of Feb. 3) and the new relationship will provide a significant growth opportunity for golf content distributed digitally.
PGA Tour Live on ESPN+ will include coverage from 36 tournaments — from the Tour’s Hawaii events in January forward — with at least 28 events having four full days of coverage, with four simultaneous live feeds each day. The streaming pact will also feature on-demand replays of events, original golf programs, and edited speed round recaps , among other features.
ESPN+ is available through the ESPN App, (on mobile and connected devices), ESPN.com or ESPNplus.com. It is also available as part of a $9.99 monthly bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported), and ESPN+ at a discounted price.
“The Tour and ESPN will work together to bring new and unique content to our fans,” Anderson said.