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PGA Tour signs DAZN partnership, unveils digital innovations

Golf’s PGA Tour has agreed a rights partnership in Japan with digital sports content and media group Perform for its PGA Tour Live service, while it has unveiled a host of new initiatives for its over-the-top subscription offering, including plans to stream content via social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.

Perform has acquired the rights to stream PGA Tour Live coverage on DAZN, its new OTT sports subscription service which launched on Tuesday in the Japanese market. Starting today (Thursday) at The Barclays tournament, DAZN Japan will distribute PGA Tour Live coverage from more than 30 events each year through to the end of 2018.

In addition, the PGA Tour plans to stream more than 14 hours of PGA Tour Live coverage on Twitter and Facebook Live during the opening rounds of The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship, the first two events of the FedExCup Playoffs.

In addition to the global live stream, the Tour will hold a fan vote on Twitter to determine which groups PGA Tour Live will follow during certain rounds. This PGA Tour Live streaming on Thursday and Friday mornings will bolster the streaming options of the FedExCup Playoffs available during broadcast windows on pay-television broadcaster the Golf Channel, as well as the CBS and NBC networks.

Luis Goicouria, senior vice-president of digital platforms and media strategy for the PGA Tour, said: “Taking this new step with Twitter and Facebook Live will provide a free preview of premium PGA Tour Live coverage for our fans around the world, while also providing an understanding of how our social audiences engage with our live programming as we explore deeper relationships with these platforms in the future.”

In another digital development, the Tour has announced an initiative to help players further enhance their marketability via social media. The Tour will run a trial allowing players to stream live video and post photos during practice rounds and pro-am days on their PGA Tour-approved social platforms.

“We feel it is important for the PGA Tour to continually look at ways for our players to showcase their personalities and connect with their fans,” Andy Pazder, PGA Tour chief of operations, added. “If the trial goes well we believe this expanded social media policy for our members will enhance how fans follow their favourite players throughout the season.”