Discovery Channel, Inc. CEO David Zaslav and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan formally announced a 12-year deal valued at $2 billion that will give The Discovery Channel international television rights to broadcast past, present and future PGA Tour golf programming and content starting in 2019. The strategic alliance features global TV and multi-platform live rights outside of the U.S. which will not disturb domestic programming which contract expires in 2021.
Discovery, a Fortune 500 media company based in Silver Spring, Md., operates such networks as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Food Network and HGTV has signed a $2 billion contract with the PGA Tour for international television rights, CEO David Zaslav told FOX Business News on June 4.
“The PGA tour is content that people will pay for,” Zaslav said in the interview. “What we have a chance to do is build a golf Netflix product and we think that could be massive.”
As part of the 12-year partnership, which begins in 2019, Discovery would get media rights in 220 markets and territories, including tournaments such as The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs and the President’s Cup.
Discovery also plans to create a new subscription streaming service, centered around golf, later this year. It appears the PGA Tour will benefit by additional exposure for golf internationally and to those involved in the game including manufacturers, sponsors, rightsholders and players. Also, any additional worldwide exposure for the PGA Tour would be advantageous to the Tour’s brand and should increase financial opportunities to the players.
“This is truly a global game,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, a Winchester-native. “We feel like we are at a point in time where we can really accelerate our desire to diversify and grow our fan base as well as accelerate the growth of this great game.”
Discovery, which also owns Eurosport, made a long-term deal in 2015 with the International Olympic Committee for exclusive rights to Olympic content in Europe.
Golf fans should be delighted that there will soon be an international golf channel a/k/a “”Netflix of Golf” (originally coined by Broadcast.Golf which was pitched to the Tour) and that will compete with The Golf Channel.