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Discovery announce wide-ranging partnership with the European Tour

US media group Discovery has announced its latest wide-ranging golf partnership with the European Tour, commencing in 2019, acquiring rights in selected markets to all European Tour events and the next two Ryder Cups.

This follows on from its 12-year, $2bn joint-venture deal with the PGA Tour for rights outside of the US, from 2019 to 2030.

From 2019, Discovery will hold exclusive rights to European Tour events in: Albania; Cyprus; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Malta; Romania; Russia; Spain; Turkey; and Ukraine.

It will also hold digital streaming rights in: the Balkan territories; Bulgaria; Estonia; Central Asian territories; India; Indonesia; Latin America; Latvia; Lithuania; Malaysia; Myanmar; Portugal; Singapore; Taiwan, Thailand.

From 2020, Discovery will gain exclusive rights in Iceland and Poland, and digital streaming rights in Vietnam. From 2021, exclusive rights in Belgium and Netherlands will be rolled in, with digital streaming rights in Hong Kong. Digital rights for Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Middle East will be rolled in from 2022.

Rights will be exploited on Discovery’s OTT platform GolfTV, which will launch in January 2019.

Ryder Cup rights are for European markets only, excluding: Denmark; Finland; France; Ireland; Germany, Austria, Switzerland; Norway; Sweden; and the UK.

Discovery has also announced that it has reached a three-year sublicensing deal with telco Telefónica for linear European Tour rights in Spain, from 2019 to 2021.

Discovery’s golf ambitions, including the potential European Tour deal, was reported on by SportBusiness Media in October.