Discovery buys PGA Tour global rights for $2 billion

Discovery buys PGA Tour global rights for $2 billion

United States golf organisation the PGA Tour has taken on a new strategy for its worldwide rights by striking a "pioneering" strategic alliance with media company Discovery. 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 12-year partnership involves the development of a new PGA Tour-branded video streaming service, the company said. The latter tournament is scheduled to be held in December 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.

The 12-year deal announced today (Monday) will run from 2019 to 2030 and includes global multi-platform live rights, outside the USA, to all PGA Tour media properties.

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Discovery said it expects to invest more than $2bn (€1.67bn) over the course of the alliance, including licensing of the Tour's worldwide media rights and building a global OTT platform available outside the USA, with a gradual increase of annual investment during the term. The 2018 PyeongChang Games marked Discovery's first stab at distributing the Olympics, and according to the company's first quarter earnings call, the 18-night winter spectacular helped drive its worldwide ad sales revenue up 11 percent versus the year-ago period. They are now in the PGA Tour business and that's not something you're going to walk away from.

While known for unscripted programming like "Shark Week", Discovery is focused on becoming a global TV sports giant.

By partnering with Discovery, the PGA Tour will gain an experienced partner helping it to determine the best worldwide distribution and broadcast partner strategy as it looks to diversify its fan base. "They are the strongest player internationally when it comes to content, when it comes to distribution, and when it comes to direct-to-consumer experience", Monahan said. As for what name the service will be marketed under, Monahan said, "We're working on it". "Following our successful first Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Discovery will contribute its strong global distribution and promotional infrastructure, in-market relationships, global sports expertise with direct-to-consumer platforms and brands to create a valuable new long-term Home of Golf offering in every market outside the USA".

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