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PGA Tour sells streaming rights to ESPN+ in nine-year deal

The PGA Tour, the premiere US golfing competition, has signed a nine-year rights deal with Disney’s sports streamer ESPN+.

The organisation has also extended its rights deals with commercial broadcasters CBS and NBC.

The deal with ESPN, reported by the New York Times as being valued at US$75 million per year, will see ESPN+ replace NBC Sports as the competition’s official US OTT partner. ESPN+ will broadcast more than 4,000 hours of live content annually and include coverage from 36 FedExCup tournaments.

The deal will also see PGA Tour Live – the league’s own SVOD – move to ESPN+ from 2022, including on-demand recaps and original content.

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said: “We are looking forward to working with the PGA Tour to bring current and future golf fans the next generation of tour coverage. ESPN+ will offer golf fans unprecedented access and storytelling at an incredible value on the industry’s leading sports streaming platform.”

By contrast to the 36 competitions offered by ESPN+, CBS will average 19 events per year with NBC broadcasting eight. NBC Sports Group will continue as a PGA Tour cable partner, with Comcast’s Golf Channel providing early-round and early weekend coverage of each FedExCup event.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said: “We were extremely pleased with the interest we received from the market – both with incumbents and other media companies – and are excited that our current partners shared our vision for the future.

“These new deals will be a major win for our fans, bringing an elevated commitment from all three partners to help us expand and innovate our content and its delivery.”