Warner Bros. Discovery Shuts Down GolfTV, Moves Live Content to discovery+ for International Viewers
GolfTV is hanging up its clubs for good. The international golf streaming service carried rights to PGA events outside the United States since 2018, but like a ball splashing into a water hazard, it will soon be gone forever, according to Sports Pro Media.
GolfTV’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery will move the streamer’s live content to discovery+. That gives users in select markets outside the U.S. a short window to enjoy live golf tournaments for less money than they had been paying. A GolfTV subscription had cost $9.99 USD per month, while discovery+ currently runs $4.99 USD monthly. The PGA has confirmed that the 12-year international rights deal it signed with WBD in 2019 is otherwise unaffected by the shutdown of GolfTV.
That cheaper viewing window will close when discovery+ merges with WBD’s other streaming service HBO Max, a move which is expected to take place in the spring of 2023. But until then, the shift will add to discovery+’s impressive international lineup of live sports, which already includes the European streaming rights to the Olympics, soccer, tennis, cycling, and more. In the U.S., PGA broadcast rights are divided between ESPN, CBS, NBC, and the NBCU cable network the Golf Channel.
The writing was on the wall for GolfTV this summer, according to SPM’s reporting. The streamer was widely expected to roll out as the home of the PGA in the U.K. this year, but instead the pay-TV network Sky Sports signed an extension with the golf league. When that happened, many were left to wonder if GolfTV had a future.
The future of live sports at WBD is much more encouraging, however. Once the combined HBO Max-discovery+ service is introduced, the company will have lots of options to increase its domestic sports streaming presence. The service is likely to feature streaming NBA games, though the two sides may be engaged in some posturing over the upcoming renewal of their media rights deal following the 2024-25 season.
WBD also has broadcast rights to live events from MLB, NHL, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, AEW Wrestling, U.S. Men’s and Women’s Soccer Matches, and more, which it airs across its linear cable networks TNT, TBS, and occasionally TruTV. There have also been reports that Bleacher Report — the sports and culture website owned by WBD — could be folded into televised coverage via the new HBO Max-discovery+ service as well.
discovery+ is a video streaming service that offers more than 70,000 episodes of 2,500+ current and classic shows from several popular TV brands including Discovery, Investigation Discovery, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, A&E, Lifetime, and History.
The service primarily focuses on non-fiction programming or “reality” TV shows.
discovery+ is available with limited ads for $4.99 / month or ad-free for $6.99 / month.