Mar 10, 2020 - Sports

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

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.

Go deeper

How the coronavirus-driven sports outage impacts TV and advertising

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Without live sports for the foreseeable future, it's unclear what networks like ESPN and FS1 will broadcast in those time slots or what they'll talk about on their studio shows and radio programs during the day.

Why it matters: With so many Americans nesting at home, linear TV viewership was expected to spike. But without sports, streaming platforms, video games and other mediums will likely be the big winners instead.

Go deeperArrowMar 13, 2020 - Sports

How sports media is handling the coronavirus outage

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In the Era of No Sports, media publications, TV networks and leagues are scrambling to find alternatives to fill the void — and in some cases, redeploying staff to work on non-sports coverage.

Driving the news: The Washington Post has redirected some of its sports staff to help with non-sports coverage and, starting this Saturday, the newspaper's daily Sports section will move inside the Style section, per an internal memo (Sunday Sports will continue to stand on its own).

Go deeperArrowMar 19, 2020 - Sports

Where the advertising dollars go when coronavirus cancels sports

Data: Alphonso analysis; Table: Axios Visuals

Big brand marketers that were depending on major sporting events to bolster their marketing plans suddenly need to switch course.

Why it matters: “Live sports might be off, but the audiences are very much on and, in fact, consuming even more TV while sheltered at home. It's all about where to find them," says Ashish Chordia, CEO of Alphonso, a television measurement company.