Discovery and PGA Tour have signed a deal with Jupiter Golf Network, a subsidiary of Japanese cable television company Jupiter Telecommunications.
The agreement is the first to have been announced under Discovery’s landmark 12-year global rights arrangement with North American golf circuit, PGA Tour, and is aimed at growing the sport’s viewership grow across Japan.
The new partnership sees live PGA Tour coverage being broadcast on Jupiter Golf Network. In addition, the deal includes a commitment to developing a high quality ecosystem to assist the domestic rollout of Discovery’s newly announced flagship GolfTV over-the-top (OTT) service which is to be officially launched worldwide – beyond the US – in January 2019.
The agreement will see extensive action broadcast live on the Golf Network’s linear channel, as well as on its Golf Network Plus app.
Additionally, Jupiter, which has been a broadcast partner of Discovery in Japan for more than two decades, will continue to collaborate with Discovery to produce premium content.
Discovery has sublicensed the PGA Tour’s pay-TV rights in the country to Jupiter, as well as the opportunity to provide live, non-live and on-demand digital rights. Selected free-to-air coverage is due to be announced at a later date.
The live coverage will include all six golf tours operating under the PGA Tour umbrella and nearly 150 tournaments annually, including the flagship Players Championship, the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup.
Alex Kaplan, president and general manager, Discovery Golf, said: “This is a real win for the passionate and growing community of golf fans in Japan, promising to deliver even more of the sport’s biggest moments all-year-round and made available however fans want to watch: TV, online or mobile.
“Building on world-class localised Japanese coverage on Golf Network and GolfTV, together with Jupiter Golf Network we have ambitions to establish a more comprehensive digital partnership, best utilising our platforms and content to further grow viewership and broaden engagement around golf throughout the country.”
Discovery has confirmed that GolfTV will supersede the existing PGA Tour Live offering and serve as a ‘one-stop destination’ for a wide range of golf content featuring the circuit’s top players and tournaments.
Discovery’s 12-year deal with the PGA Tour includes global multi-platform live rights, outside the US, to all of the circuit’s media properties until 2030. The company says that it is already working on a ‘robust’ distribution and broadcast partner strategy for the rights portfolio which will optimise the PGA Tour’s reach across free-to-air, pay-TV and digital.