ESPN+ Scores Digital Rights to the PGA Tour

The PGA Tour has made a nine-year deal for broadcasting rights, with CBS and NBC getting TV rights and ESPN scoring digital rights to the golf tour.

The deal, beginning in 2022, will look the same for TV. CBS and NBC will divide up events, with CBS airing about twice as many, as it has been for the past nine years of the current deal. Golf Channel will continue to be the cable partner.

This is the first time the PGA Tour has considered digital rights to events. According to a press release shared by ESPN, ESPN+ will have rights to PGA Tour Live, the subscription service started by the PGA five years ago.

“As we went to the marketplace and looked at all the options and all the potential outcomes and thought about what it was we wanted for our fans and our athletes … our desire was to produce more content, to evolve and innovate in all our broadcasts, to work more closely with partners, to build the tour and our sport and to reach a broader audience,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said. “We’re in a good position.”

The deal is not just a win for ESPN+, but for the PGA as well. Adding a deal for digital rights to the mix going forward means bringing coverage to a new audience of 7.6 million subscribers, in addition to being promoted by ESPN.

“Most interesting to us is this is not just a commitment to be on ESPN+,” Monahan said. “ESPN is committed to the tour, the tournaments and the athletes. Think about the tour being promoted on ESPN and their digital families, which is north of 50 million unique viewers from what we have today.”

“We feel confident our platforms reach a broad range of sports fans on a regular basis,” said Russell Wolff, executive vice president and general manager of ESPN+. “We’re quite excited about the expanded golf offering. … It’s a place golf fans are going to want to spend time.”

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