Sky to Keep PGA Golf Until at Least 2019

Sky TV has the NZ rights to PGA Golf for at least another year and the option to extend them through to December 2021.

It confirmed this in a statement to ScreenScribe following news of a groundbreaking $2 billion deal PGA Tour Live has done for Discovery to acquire global rights.

According to Golf World, the deal, beginning in 2019, will include live rights outside the United States to 150 tournaments that operate under the PGA Tour’s jurisdiction, including the Players Championship, FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup.

“This partnership aligns very well with the opening of PGA Tour offices in London, Tokyo and Beijing in recent years and will support our long-term objectives of growing the game of golf,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in a statement.

“It also will deliver more value to our sponsors as it presents a tremendous opportunity to engage new and diverse audiences around the world.”

The streaming service will reach more than 220 markets and territories and will act as a Netflix-style direct-to-consumer streaming experience. The platform, which doesn’t have a name at this time, will premiere in markets like Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia and Spain starting on Jan. 1, 2019.

Other countries will have to wait for their airing dates, including South Korea (2020), China (2021) and the United Kingdom (2022). Despite this delay, Monahan and David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, singled out Asia as a major target for the product.

And The Guardian reports Sky TV in Britain “faces a battle to retain its status as the UK’s main broadcaster of the PGA Tour … Sky’s contract to screen PGA Tour events runs until 2022, meaning nothing will change immediately.

“It must decide in the meantime whether to attempt a sub-licence agreement with what is essentially a direct rival or step back from one of its core sports.”

In its statement, Sky NZ said:

“Sky has the PGA rights for New Zealand to 2019 with an option through to December 2021, and we look forward to discussions with the new joint venture at the appropriate time.

“We have long-standing and positive relationships with both Discovery and the US PGA. We look forward to working with them as they execute their new international distribution and broadcast partner strategy.

“Like all of our negotiations, we don’t discuss details publicly.”

Meanwhile, Sky subscribers who were outraged about how the sudden death play-off in this weekend’s Memorial tournament was edited can blame PGA Tour and not the satcaster.

Because weather issues affected the organisation of the fourth round’s play, Sky was unable to screen it live.

Instead, it ran shot-by-shot coverage until the the three-way play-off — but some of the pivotal shots that determined who won were edited out.

Golf fans couldn’t have suffered a more frustrating outcome after committing several hours to watching the competition unfold. But Sky says it didn’t truncate the coverage.

“The tournament had to begin earlier due to weather and the live feed was not made available to Sky,” director of sport Richard Last says.

“The PGA provided us the delayed feed that went to air, this was not edited at Sky.”

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

One Response to “Sky to Keep PGA Golf Until at Least 2019”

  1. Now this is the sort of media giant that I expect to be bidding for sports rights (not Amazon or Facebook et al). Recall that Discovery has a stake in Coliseum (who operates rugbypass) and has therefore history in sports streaming – and the aborted attempt at streaming PGA in this part of the world. Take 2 – with Discovery (and its media/streaming/sports history) – and its significant shareholder Liberty Media (who owns Formula 1). Once again media giants to the fore. And Discovery has the smarts to segment its offering – it’ll be interesting whether it relaunches the PGA brand in NZ or partners or wholesales. It’ll skin the cat to get the maximum value – and I’d expect to see the DTC offering somewhere in the NFL’s or NBA’s DTC offering. Golf for USD199/yr anyone???

Leave a Reply