Golf Coup for TVNZ But Not PGA Fans

There’s good news and bad news for golfers: TVNZ will screen international golf tournaments live on its Freeview pop-up channel from Friday.

Coverage will run until the end of October on channel 15 on all Freeview platforms but will not be in HD.

Moreover, only the first two rounds of each tournament will air; to see the third and fourth, you’ll need an online subscription.

It’s hard not to be cynical about the deal between TVNZ and PGA rights-holder Lightbox Sport.

Firstly, it’s for the two months of the year when the northern hemisphere season is winding up, with the last of the majors having been played this month. So they’re scarcely marquee tournaments.

Secondly, the SD coverage will look shabby compared to Sky’s HD coverage and TV1’s HD highlights packages (which will continue).

Thirdly, the exercise is little more than a marketing gimmick to drive uptake of PGA HD streaming in this market.

Lightbox Sport CEO Tim Martin acknowledges in this press release when he says: “We think people will really appreciate being able to get a free-to-air taster of what’s available on PGA Tour Live.”

My experience of PGA Tour Live has been mixed, from flaky streaming and device recognition to the frustration of not being able to access the live PGA Tour streaming that starts earlier in the US (as happened with the PGA Championship).

And because Sky still have rights to three of the four majors plus other key tournaments, golf fans end up paying twice for lesser coverage: a Sky Sports sub and a PGA Tour Live/Lightbox sub.

The nine PGA, LPGA and European Tour tournaments are:

  • Fri 28 Aug & Sat 29 Aug 0600 -1000 Barclays Championship – PGA Tour
  • Sat 5 Sept & Sun 6 Sept 0630 -1030 Deutsche Bank Championship – PGA Tour
  • Thurs 11 Sept & Fri 12 Sept 2100 – 2400 /0130 – 0430 The Evian Championship – LPGA
  • Fri 18 Sept & Sat 19 Sept 0700 – 1100 BMW Championship – PGA Tour
  • Fri 26 Sept & Sat 27 Sept 0500 – 1000 Tour Championship – PGA Tour
  • Thurs 2 Oct & Fri 3 Oct 0100 – 0500 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – European Tour
  • Thurs 8 Oct & Fri 9 Oct Day 1: 1600 – 2000 Day 2: 1630 – 2030 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia – LPGA
  • Thurs 15 Oct & Fri 16 Oct TBC Portugal Masters – European Tour
  • Thurs 29 Oct & Fri 30 Oct 1700 – 2100 Blue Bay – LPGA.
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4 Responses to “Golf Coup for TVNZ But Not PGA Fans”

  1. I wonder if this is a further sign of Coliseum’s ongoing financial woes? It would be interesting to know how much TVNZ paid to secure the limited coverage they now have. Certainly it is a very poor deal for those of us who have subscribed to the web based service. While the main coverage is provided to TVNZ at SD, the web based service is limited to the secondary coverage, with a couple of holes only, and no focus on the lead players. Even the recap service is a direct feed, with all the ad breaks left in place. Very poor treatment for a paid ‘premium’ service

  2. Thanks, Geoff. I didn’t realise streaming of the first and second rounds had been scaled back because of the TVNZ deal. That’s outrageous. Will check it out.

  3. Interesting feedback from the Coliseum help desk:
    Message:

    Hi there Geoff,

    Thank you for getting in touch with us, I do understand your concern.

    Having followed this up I have found out that we were not getting the correct feed that we were meant to be getting. As this was the case this should not be a recurring issue or problem in the future.

    My apologies for the inconvenience caused.

    Best regards,

    Felix
    PGA Live
    Support Team

  4. Great! Thanks for the update, Geoff.

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