The partnership's top priority is a direct-to-consumer platform that not only streams the PGA's almost 150 tournaments each year, but also offers one-stop viewing for golf fans who want to watch highlights, learn about the sport's history or even improve their game with video lessons.
Discovery said that the pair would now work together to execute on a robust worldwide distribution and broadcast partner strategy for the portfolio across free-to-air, pay-TV and digital platforms.
Discovery will broadcast the PGA Tour on its portfolio of pay-television and free-to-air channels, digital and short-form platforms, and will work with the Tour on how to capture all access to the action and its extensive non-live and library rights for all media platforms. Kaplan was previously EVP, commercial for Eurosport Digital, helping to grow the direct-to-consumer business to over a million subscribers. The PGA deal will be overseen by Eurosport executive Alex Kaplan, who joined Discovery past year from the National Basketball Association, where he was Senior Vice President, Global Media Distribution.
Prior to joining Discovery he was SVP, global media distribution for the National Basketball Association and also spent 10 years at DirecTV/AT&T. It's the PGA Tour's latest effort to expand its fan base around the world.
Half of the PGA's top 50 players are from outside the USA, including two from China, which creates lots of opportunities, Zaslav said. Rick Anderson, the PGA Tour's executive vice-president of global media, said: "Sky has made a massive commitment to golf". 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.
Sky also recently saw its live rights to Spanish football go to another relatively new player in the industry, Eleven Sports.