Discovery strikes agreement with European Tour to expand GOLFTV portfolio
December 13, 2018
Discovery and the European Tour have announced a new partnership that will see GOLFTV continue to expand its portfolio and move towards becoming the established ‘digital home of golf' for fans around the world.
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The wide-ranging agreement includes international multi-platform live rights, in selected territories,* to all European Tour events and the next two Ryder Cups**, as well as Discovery collaborating to further grow the European Tour's digital platforms, showcasing the Tour's innovative content worldwide.
The partnership will bring coverage of the European Tour and Ryder Cup together under GOLFTV, the global live and on-demand video streaming service launching in January 2019. Fans will be able to follow all the world's greatest players, week in and week out, with a growing portfolio of content that will make GOLFTV an unmissable destination for golf entertainment worldwide.
GOLFTV will carry more than 40 European Tour events per year starting in January*. These events will include:
• Every Race to Dubai event throughout the season.
• All Rolex Series events, including the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, BMW PGA Championship, Italian Open, Turkish Airlines Open, Nedbank Golf Challenge and season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
• All World Golf Championships (WGC)*** events, including the Mexico Championship, the Dell Technologies Match Play, the FedEx St. Jude Invitational and HSBC Champions.
• Golf Sixes and the Hero Challenge.
• The European Challenge Tour and Staysure Tour.
Following Team Europe's victory in Paris in September, live coverage of the next two Ryder Cups from Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, in 2020 and Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Italy, in 2022 will be available to fans in selected territories through GOLFTV**.
Alex Kaplan, President and General Manager, Discovery Golf, said: “Welcoming the European Tour and The Ryder Cup into the GOLFTV world is a significant step in our journey to becoming a premier global destination for golf entertainment. To offer fans the chance to watch some of the biggest tournaments of the year week in and week out, featuring the world's greatest players and their national heroes, is the perfect foundation of must-have content that fans can't live without.”
“To become the true ‘digital home of golf,' we know we must think differently and go further than anything that has been done before,” Kaplan continued. “Forging a deeper relationship with the European Tour to help develop and grow its digital assets is a perfect example of that, and it highlights our long-term aim to build a true ecosystem around golf, leveraging Discovery's global presence and expertise to achieve this at scale.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive, European Tour, said: “Discovery has a very a strong vision for GOLFTV as a multi-platform destination for golf and we are delighted to be combining our global reach in 2019.
“Our partnership with Discovery, combined with our other broadcast deals, means that every fan in every territory will now be able to watch the European Tour. This new partnership is therefore an exciting move for us, allowing us to showcase the stars of the European Tour and our innovative content to a new audience,” Pelley concluded.
From January 2019, Discovery will hold live European Tour rights in the following markets:
• Exclusive linear and digital rights in markets including Italy, Romania, Russia, Spain ( sublicense agreed with Movistar+) , Turkey ;
• GOLFTV digital streaming rights in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Portugal, Balkan countries, Eurasia, India, Latin America, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and a number of territories in Asia;
Moving beyond a traditional rights agreement, Discovery will partner with the European Tour on the operations of its digital platforms from 2019. Leveraging Discovery's proven record in maximising multi-platform engagement and commercialisation around the world's biggest and most watched sports events, the partners will work together to grow the European Tour's digital assets, including the global website, the European Tour apps, and exploration of new local websites and local European Tour social media accounts, helping to showcase the Tour's innovative digital content to a global audience.
Discovery will focus on developing and optimising key aspects of the European Tour digital operation, such as technology, monetisation and advertising. The European Tour will continue to provide content and editorial services for the digital platforms, and service its existing news and media clients.
Under the agreement, Discovery will also have the ability to sublicense TV and digital coverage, in the markets for which it holds exclusive rights, as part of a broader strategy to grow viewership of the European Tour. These markets, pending activation date of the full live rights, include Albania, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain ( sublicense agreed with Movistar+) , Turkey and Ukraine.
GOLFTV's portfolio, which already includes the PGA TOUR, was boosted by a separate announcement last month which saw GOLFTV strike an exclusive global content partnership with 14-time major champion Tiger Woods. GOLFTV will collaborate with Woods on a wide range of content creation opportunities, including deep-dive instruction to help players improve their game, and exclusive access into Woods' tournament preparation. The unique content will offer fans an authentic and regular look into the life, mind and performance of the game's ultimate icon.
Further information regarding GOLFTV programming and content will be announced in due course.
*Excludes Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, sub-Saharan Africa markets including South Africa, Sweden, United States, UK & Ireland.
**Ryder Cup rights relate to European markets only. Excludes European markets listed above (Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden, UK & Ireland) and Germany, Austria, Switzerland.
*** WGC's relate to European and Middle East markets only (excluding European markets listed above: Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden, UK & Ireland).