Sky Sports' PGA Tour future in jeopardy

However, the tour's plan to roll out PGA Tour Live - its own subscription-based digital platform that offers select-hole, live-streaming coverage - in the United Kingdom from next year could post more immediate problems for the broadcaster. Through the life of the deal, Discovery will deliver almost 150 tournaments totaling approximately 2,000 hours of content per year.

Discovery Communications has struck a $2 billion exclusive rights deal with the PGA Tour that will give it live linear and digital rights (TV and multiplatform) to major PGA Tour events outside the United States through 2030, according to the PGA Tour site. The latter tournament is scheduled to be held in December 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.

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. Three years ago, the Silver Spring, Md. -based programmer acquired the pan-European media rights to the Olympics. The popularity of the service was boosted as a result of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. They are now in the PGA Tour business and that's not something you're going to walk away from.

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 U.S., with a gradual increase of annual investment during the term.

"Today there are roughly 50 million people around the world that play the game", Monahan said, adding that golf is a "$170 billion industry, with 55 percent of the participation coming outside the U.S".

By partnering with Discovery, the PGA Tour will gain an experienced partner helping it to determine the best global distribution and broadcast partner strategy as it looks to diversify its fan base.

He added that the branded over-the-top streaming service will be up and running as of January 1 of next year.

With its lineup of players from around the world, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said that it plans to create "the new global home of golf".

  • Angelo Rivera