Talk about a mighty two ball.
The PGA Tour will ring in the new year by pairing with ESPN+ to give sports fans extended and expanded coverage of the Tour.
Think PGA Tour Live on steroids.
The PGA Tour and ESPN+ announced details Monday for the inaugural season of PGA Tour Live on ESPN+, which will more than triple total coverage of PGA Tour play during the year. This is part of the PGA Tour’s nine-year domestic media rights portfolio that was announced in March 2020 and begins in 2022.
More than 3,200 hours of new live streaming will be added, bringing the total to more than 4,300 exclusive hours of action throughout the year. The live coverage of between 35-40 events begins with the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawaii, with at least 28 events having four full days of coverage and four simultaneous live feeds each day.
All coverage will be available to ESPN+’s more than 17.1 million subscribers.
ESPN+ is available through the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices), ESPN.com or ESPNplus.com for $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. That’s lower than the $9.99 consumers were charged per month for PGA Tour Live through NBC Sports Gold. PGA Tour Live on ESPN+ is also part of the Disney Bundle, a streaming subscription that includes access to Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $13.99 per month.
In other words, fans who previously paid $9.99 per month for PGA Tour Live can now pay $6.99 per month and tap into coverage of the PGA Tour and thousands of hours of other sports, including the NHL, MLB, FA Cup, college sports and the UFC, plus original programming. More than 21,000 live events will be aired in 2022.
“The start of the PGA Tour in 2022 will tee off a new and exciting opportunity for fans to watch the best golfers in the world,” said Burke Magnus, president of programming and original entertainment for ESPN.
Beginning with the American Express in January, PGA Tour Live on ESPN+ will offer fans four live feeds:
The main feed. This will include primary tournament-coverage featuring the best action from across the course. Think NFL RedZone.
The marquee group. This will show every shot from each player in the group.
The featured groups. This is traditional coverage of two different featured groups.
The featured holes. This will be a combination of four par-3s and holes deemed as pivotal.
For instance, at the Players Championship, three of the par-3 holes will be on the broadcast and perhaps the drivable par-4 12th. Every shot of every player in the four holes will be shown on this feed.
When network television coverage begins, the four streams will become two featured groups and two featured holes.
Sixteen on-course cameras will capture play, which will provide more flexibility in what can be shown. The production crew will grow from roughly 85 people to 210, with 15 announcers calling the action on the four channels. And two majors will be aired: golf programming on ESPN+ also includes the Masters (115 hours of live coverage, plus 50 hours of the Masters Films from 1960-2020) and the PGA Championship (200 hours of live coverage, plus 30 hours of library and classic programming).
PGA Tour Live launched in 2015. It moved to NBC Sports Gold in 2019.
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