US sports broadcaster ESPN is close to agreeing a streaming rights deal with golf’s PGA Tour, according to the Associated Press.
The news agency, citing two people aware of the negotiations, reported that ESPN will acquire the rights, which are currently held by NBC Sports Group.
The deal has not been completed and the AP said the agreement is likely to be announced following the conclusion of the PGA Tour’s west-coast swing next month.
In August 2018, the PGA Tour struck a multi-year digital partnership with NBC Sports Group for its OTT subscription video service, PGA Tour Live. Since last year, NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports Digital’s direct-to-consumer live streaming product, has been the home of PGA Tour Live in the US.
ESPN+ previously held a portion of PGA Tour Live rights in 2018 before the service moved to NBC Sports Gold.
ESPN has rights for the PGA Championship, one of golf’s four majors, in a deal that begins this year and runs until 2030. ESPN joined forces with commercial broadcaster CBS to sign the deal back in October 2018 and will have exclusive live coverage of the first and second rounds along with coverage of the morning of the third and final rounds. ESPN+ will stream the whole tournament.
Last week, the PGA Tour announced an expansive agreement with social media platform Facebook to distribute daily highlight packages globally on Facebook Watch in 2020. The agreement includes daily round recaps and player-specific highlights from more than 30 events, including The Players Championship and FedExCup Playoffs.