Mar 10, 2020 - Sports

PGA strikes $680 million TV rights deal with NBC, CBS, ESPN

An illustration of a golf hole.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The PGA Tour has struck a 9-year rights deal with CBS Sports, NBC Sports and ESPN for around $680 million, Variety reports.

Why it matters: The value of distributing professional golf in the U.S. is increasing as more TV networks clamor to hold live sports rights. In the streaming era, live sports are keeping traditional TV alive.

  • Up from roughly $400 million in its last TV distribution deal, it awards broadcast rights to CBS and NBC and digital rights to ESPN+, ESPN's subscription sports streaming service.
  • Previously NBC aired PGA Tour Live's subscription package through its NBC Sports Gold package. Now, those rights are moving to ESPN+.
  • NBC's Golf Channel will remain the cable distributor for The PGA Tour.

The big picture: The PGA Tour, perhaps better than most leagues, has been finding ways to capitalize on the sports streaming rights frenzy in the U.S. and abroad.

  • In 2018, the PGA Tour and Discovery launched the first-ever professional golf streaming service internationally via a 12-year partnership.
  • Last week, it announced a partnership with sports betting outlets The Action Network to launch GolfBet, a first-of-its-kind, golf-focused betting content platform.
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