Big news for golf fans this week as the PGA Tour also hits one of the biggest events of the year — The Player's Championship — and a pretty major future shift coming to the way you'll watch golf online.
Starting in 2022, ESPN+ becomes the exclusive home for the PGA Tour Live. That's the PGA Tour's subscription streaming video service that's been around since 2015 (you may have seen it advertised on Amazon Prime Video Channels ). It'll expand with four simultaneous feeds from all four days of 28 events throughout the season, and more than 4,000 hours of coverage from a total of 36 tournaments.
The lock-in marks the second major exclusivity agreement for ESPN+, which is the only place you can see UFC pay-per-view events through 2025 ..
In addition, PGA Tour Live also will feature replays of Tour events, original programs, and round recaps edited for time. (Speed golf!)
And, again, the only place you'll be able to get that starting in 2022 is ESPN+.
On the "traditional" television side of things, CBS and NBC will continue to have coverage of most tournaments throughout the year, through 2030. CBS will average about 19 events, and NBC gets eight. FedExCup Playoff events will alternate between the two networks, starting with NBC in 2022, CBS in 2023, and so on. And, of course, the Golf Channel will continue to do its thing.
From the ESPN press release :
"We are looking forward to working with the PGA TOUR to bring current and future golf fans the next generation of TOUR coverage," said Jimmy Pitaro, president, ESPN, and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks. "ESPN+ will offer golf fans unprecedented access and storytelling at an incredible value on the industry's leading sports streaming platform."
Rick Anderson, Chief Media Officer, PGA TOUR added, "The relationship with Disney and ESPN+ gives the TOUR the opportunity to expand and diversify audiences, and the TOUR and ESPN will work together to bring new and unique content to our fans. ESPN+ will provide a significant growth opportunity for PGA TOUR content through its digital reach, innovative platform and young and diverse audience."
Missing from the ESPN+ conversation, however, is the women's side of the sport. It'll still be available on the Golf Channel, and is getting "expanded exposure" on CBS and NBC.
From the Golf Channel release :
Specifically, the TOUR secured the long-term extension of the LPGA/GOLF Channel partnership (2022-2030) with ancillary programming, including a season preview, season review and Road to the CME Group Tour Championship. In addition, GOLF Channel will provide dedicated programming for the Symetra Tour each year, as well as enhanced marketing and promotional assets and expanded benefits for LPGA sponsors.
Again, this all takes effect in 2022, which isn't quite as far away as it might sounds.
ESPN+ is available on just about any internet-connected device you own, including Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, iOS and Android devices, web browsers, and Xbox. It runs just $4.99 a month for a solo subscription, or you can bundle it up with Hulu and Disney+ for $12.99 a month.
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