PGA Tour expands international distribution deal with ESPN and Eurosport

US-based PGA Tour golf tournament has embarked on a significant expansion of its international broadcasting, signing a deal with Disney’s ESPN+ and Discovery’s Eurosport.

The agreement will see ESPN+ provide coverage of 23 PGA Tour events in 2021, whilst Eurosport will offer 16 hours of weekly primetime golf broadcasting across 30 different territories.

This is a major expansion of Eurosport’s coverage, provided via the GolfTV over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, building on the deal the Discovery network forged with the PGA Tour in 2018.

GolfTV will continue to provide coverage of the tournaments in countries such as Russia, Denmark, Portugal, Italy and Norway but will also include countries such as Greece, Turkey and Czech Republic, with plans to enter new markets over the coming years.

President and General Manager of Discovery Golf and Golf TV, Alex Kaplan, said: “Together with the PGA Tour as our long-term partners, we are always seeking to reach more audiences and bring new fans into golf which is just what our new partnership with Eurosport promises to deliver. We have an incredible opportunity to utilise Eurosport’s scale to take this even further.”

Furthermore, ESPN+ will also increase its coverage from 12 events in 2020, beginning with the Farmers Insurance Open in January and will continue through the FedExCup playoffs to September’s Tour Championship.

In addition two featured holes on the Saturday and Sunday of each week will be broadcast concurrently with CBS or NBC’s coverage of the tournaments. The PGA Tour itself will get to choose which holes ESPN+ will cover.

These revelations follow a series of recent developments in golf, notably the announcement that the PGA Tour and European Tour plan on a strategic alliance to usher in “a new era of golf,” which would see the two bodies cooperate on commercial matters such as media rights, prize funding and scheduling.

Moreover, the broadcasting deal demonstrates the continued interest the Disney network is showing in developing its sports coverage capabilities.

The American media giant recently made a move into South American sports broadcasting announcing that coverage of football’s UEFA Champions League, Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana as well as all four Grand Slam and most ATP tennis tournaments will be shown on the continent under its Star+ brand.