Discovery has struck a landmark deal to acquire the worldwide television rights to PGA Tour golfing. In addition to the golf deal, Discovery has purchased the European rights to the Olympics until 2024 - a $1.4 billion deal.
The media company, which owns channels like the Discovery channel, TLC and Eurosport, has signed a 12-year deal with the PGA Tour for rights to air its events outside the USA on TV and digital platforms. Discovery is expected to sub-license rights in some markets, as per other sports deal.
Former DirecTV and National Basketball Association executive Alex Kaplan, who joined the company previous year, will oversee the PGA Tour coverage for Discovery. The popularity of the service was boosted as a result of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The deal excludes the USA, where the tour runs on CBS and NBC. About half of the top 50 golf players are from outside the US, including England's Justin Rose, Spain's Jon Rahm from Spain, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, Australia's Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama from Japan.
"We think the PGA Tour is the most compelling global sports IP in the world", said David Zaslav, the CEO of Discovery, in a statement to Bloomberg, which first reported the deal.
Jay Monahan, commissioner, PGA Tour, said: "This is an exciting next step for the PGA TOUR, which presents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate and expand our media business outside the United States, better service our worldwide broadcast partners, and drive fan growth with a deeply experienced strategic global partner".
PGA Tour Golf Commissioner Jay Monahan said it was "a tremendous opportunity to accelerate and expand our media business outside the United States".
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