Video Game Publisher Take-Two Interactive Inks Long-Term Deal With Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods might not play golf for a while following his February car accident, but that doesn’t mean the sports icon can’t play virtually in video games.

2K, the publishing unit of Take-Two Interactive, March 16 announced an exclusive long-term partnership with Tiger Woodsone of the most celebrated figures in golf history. In addition, 2K announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held HB Studios Multimedia Ltd., developers of the commercially successful PGA Tour 2K21, as well as ‘The Golf Club’ franchise. The acquisition is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of both deals were not disclosed.

Woods’ resumé includes 15 major championship wins; 82 PGA Tour victories; 11-time PGA Tour Player of the Year; lowest career scoring average and tied for the most career wins in PGA Tour history, among many other accolades. He is recognized as one of the greatest golfers of all time and is heralded among the most prolific athletes in the sporting world.

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Woods’ partnership includes rights for his name and likeness to appear exclusively in the PGA Tour 2K video game franchise, as well as any other golf games published by 2K during the partnership term. Woods will play an active role in the video game landscape as an executive director and consultant with ‘PGA Tour 2K,’ while 2K will also partner with Woods’ TGR Foundation, which provides STEM curricula and college-access programs to underserved students.

“In golf, there is no bigger icon than Tiger Woods. Like the rest of the world, we were saddened to hear of his recent accident, and we wish him a full and smooth recovery,” David Ismailer, president at 2K, said in a statement. “We have been eager to announce our partnership with Tiger, whose legendary career has transcended the sport. We are thrilled to have him join our ‘PGA Tour 2K’ series as an executive director.”

PGA Tour 2K21, a golf simulation game featuring PGA Tour professionals, courses, gear and apparel, has sold nearly two million units to date.

“Our work with 2K on PGA Tour 2K21 brought our capabilities and aspirations to the next level, and we can’t wait to show the world what we’re planning for the future,” said James Seaboyer, president and studio head at HB Studios.

 

PGA to Live-Stream The Players Championship for the First Time in 2020

The PGA Tour has been available via over-the-top video for a few years but largely relegated to highlight clips, previews and lesser known events.

Now the PGA, beginning in 2020, will for the first time live-stream the full field of a major tournament: The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The video event will showcase more than 32,000 shots over 72 holes from a starting field of 144 – live – using nearly 120 cameras positioned throughout course, with each group of players having its own dedicated stream.

Live streams will be available through PGA Tour Live SVOD service, NBC Sports Gold or Amazon Prime Channels.

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The PGA Tour and NBC Sports Group in 2018 announced a new multi-year digital partnership that made NBC Sports Gold the domestic home of PGA Tour Live.

“Our vision is to bring every shot in every PGA Tour golf tournament live and on-demand to our fans, and this is the first step to making that happen,” Rick Anderson, chief media officer for the PGA Tour, said in a statement.

PGA Tour Live Live expanded its coverage for the 2019-2020 season from seven events between September and December.

This includes, for the first time ever, live streaming from the Presidents Cup at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia taking place Dec. 12th – 15th.

All told, approximately 140 hours of additional live content is available, bringing more than 1,100 total hours to subscribers and extending live content across each month of the calendar year.

With NBC Sports Gold and Prime Channels available on dozens of connected devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast, PGA Tour OTT video consumption has spiked 33% in 2019.

“Super-serving golf fans with more comprehensive coverage of The Players is emblematic of our commitment to elevating this championship and builds upon our success in adding enhancements to PGA Tour Live on NBC Sports Gold,” said Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports Group.

 

Tiger Woods, Discovery Partner for Golf TV Streaming Video Service

Fresh of the heels of golf’s first-ever pay-per-view match, Discovery and Tiger Woods have inked a “strategic partnership” that will have golf’s infamous legend participate with the network’s pending Golf TV subscription video-on-demand service.

Starting in January, “Golf TV powered by PGA Tour” will collaborate with Woods on a wide range of programming, content creation and storytelling opportunities that it claims will showcase an “authentic and regular look” into the life, mind and performance of the game’s “ultimate” icon.

“I’ve been watching Discovery and [CEO] David Zaslav build up a global sports platform with Eurosport, the Olympics and the launch of Golf TV … so I think they’re the perfect partner to help grow the game,” Woods said in a statement. “They’re global, they get sports and know how to build new, younger and big audiences.”

While Woods lost to Phil Mickelson on the Black Friday $9 million “The Match” PPV event in Las Vegas, his resume as an 80-time PGA Tour winner and 14-time Major champion apparently supplants a reputation that was turned upside down in 2009 following multiple allegations of marital infidelity, sexual addiction and a very public divorce.

The scandal saw Woods’ standing and performance on the links as the No. 1 golfer in the world freefall into oblivion. Woods appeared to resurrect his personal life with a high-profile romance with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn – a relationship that ended in 2015 with pair blaming their “hectic lives” for the breakup. Last May, Woods was cited for DUI, an arrest the golfer attributed to prescription painkillers.

Regardless, Woods and Golf TV are collaborating to develop weekly practice and instructional videos, “exclusive” access into Woods’ preparation routines;behind-the-scenes access at PGA Tour events, and post-round commentary.

Golf TV, which is launching outside the United States, will present more than 2,000 hours of live action annually as well as a wide range of premium content on-demand, featuring tournament highlights across all devices. Live coverage of the PGA Tour will be extensive and include The Players Championship, the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup.

“Our long-term partnership with Tiger reflects our broader ambition as we roll-out the service over the coming years, seeking to grow Golf TV into a true ecosystem for all things golf: watching, learning and playing,” said Alex Kaplan, GM, Discovery Golf.

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson Ready for First-Ever PPV Golf Match

Move over boxing and mixed-martial arts fighting, golf superstars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have upped their trash-talk and respective contributions to charities ahead of the Nov. 23 first-of-its-kind pay-per-view golf match over 18 holes at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. The winner takes home $9 million.

With much of America dealing with the Black Friday retail event, golf fans (largely male) can pay $19.95 to watch the sport’s two biggest names without leaving the couch.

Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil begins at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET. Woods and Mickelson will take to the course at noon PT/3 p.m. ET.

It will be available on DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Verizon and Altice (U.S.), Rogers, Shaw and Bell (Canada), Turner International (outside U.S. and Canada).

For Woods, the event is the culmination of 2017-18 season that has seen the sport’s former lone superstar rebound from No. 668 in the world rankings to No. 13 over the course of 18 events – including seven top-10 finishes and his first win in five years — at the Tour Championship in late September.

Mickelson, ranked 27th in the world, scored his first Tour win since 2013 at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Both players and their respective caddies will wear microphones, and the broadcast will include real-time, hole-by-hole statistics to forecast certain outcomes during the match.

Being Las Vegas, MGM Resorts Race & Sports Books will offer real-time odds, money-lines and other information about the golfers’ performances.

The players can also make side challenges, such as who’ll be closest to the pin, whether one can make a putt from 10 feet away or the chances of getting up and down from a certain location on the course.

Money from side wagers will be donated to the winning golfer’s chosen charity.

Drone camera coverage will be provided, as will slow-motion cameras, golf animations and both real-time trajectories and flight paths for each shot.