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PGA Tour Strikes New Deal With CBS, NBC and ESPN, Digital Rights Now Exclusive to ESPN+

Stephanie Sengwe

It’s a big day for the PGA Tour after it signed a huge nine-year deal with CBS, NBC and ESPN. According to Variety, the new deal came at a 70 percent increase over the previous one. The last deal between the PGA Tour, CBS and NBC was valued at around $400 million, according to Variety sources, which means the new deal could be worth a whopping $680 million.

Under the new deal, CBS Sports and NBC Sports will continue to show FedExCup tournaments on broadcast TV, while NBC’s Golf Channel will remain the cable partner.

Rights to the subscription-based PGA Tour Live, which were being offered partially by NBC through NBC Sports Gold, now belong to Disney’s ESPN+. CNBC reported that “Disney paid about $75 million annually for the digital rights.” According to CNBC, PGA Tour Live will come standard with an ESPN+ subscription, which costs $4.99 a month.

The PGA Tour didn’t reveal financial terms of the new deal, which begins in 2022 and will hold until 2030.

“All the major media companies are dealing with the changing landscape. The digital companies are getting more deeply involved in content, and I don’t think any of them know exactly how the business models are going to come out,” Rick Anderson, the PGA Tour’s chief media officer, told Variety in an interview. “They have to have the best content, and live sports seems to be at the top of that food chain. We definitely felt that in the market.”

Reports that ESPN+ would become the new streaming home for the PGA Tour first came out in January. The Associated Press reported that ESPN won the streaming rights to the entire PGA Tour and that matches would be shown on ESPN+. “Two people aware of the negotiations say ESPN has emerged as the winner of the streaming sweepstakes, which currently belongs to NBC Sports,” the AP report stated at the time.

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