Discovery Communications tees up $2 billion deal for pro golf

Known in the U.S. for its factual and reality TV, Discovery is emerging as a big player in the European sports media world
Image: Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth plays a shot from a bunker on the eighth hole during round three of the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club on May 26, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas.Tom Pennington / Getty Images

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By Claire Atkinson

Discovery Inc. and the PGA Tour have agreed to a $2 billion deal that will bring professional golf to the company's cable TV operations outside the U.S. — and to launch a new streaming service.

As part of the deal, Discovery will create of an internet-based subscription streaming service centered around golf, a move that adds on to the media company's interest in on-demand sports services in Europe.

The 12-year deal is the second of its kind for Discovery, which owns a variety of cable channels including the Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV and many others. Though it's known in the U.S. primarily for its factual and reality programming, Discovery is a major player in Europe's sports TV industry. Discovery, run by chief executive David Zaslav, previously acquired long-term European rights for the Olympic Games.

"The long-term partnership between the PGA TOUR and Discovery will create the new global Home of Golf, including delivering over 2000 hours of live content year-round and this prestigious sport’s greatest moments, stories and athletes," Zaslav said in a press release.

Discovery, which co-owns a stake in streaming platform BamTech Europe with Disney, also owns sports network Eurosport.

The deal does not affect U.S. broadcast rights to PGA golf held by CBS Corporation and Comcast’s Golf Channel, which run through 2021.

"This is an exciting next step for the PGA TOUR, which presents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate and expand our media business outside the United States, better service our international broadcast partners, and drive fan growth with a deeply experienced strategic global partner," said Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, in a press release.