Want to watch the PGA Tour action from the Travelers Championship this weekend but don’t have Sky Sports? That’s no problem.
That’s because, starting this weekend and for eight tournament weekends up until the end of the season, the PGA Tour has joined forces with Facebook to show tournament coverage live through the ‘PGA TOUR LIVE’ Facebook page.
According to a PGA Tour press release, the coverage will be similar to the tour’s subscription OTT service and will follow two featured groups that tee off in the morning of the third and final rounds.
The PGA Tour will uniquely produce this coverage for Facebook’s social video platform, with interactive elements aimed to engage fans. For example, the coverage will incorporate fan questions and comments.
This move, although solely covering two early featured groups on both days, continues to fuel uncertainty about Sky Sports’ long-term future covering the PGA Tour, with the tour clearly very keen to experiment with other partners on a free-to-air basis.
Sky Sports’ current deal with the PGA Tour runs until 2022 but, earlier this month, the tour announced a new $2bn, 12-year partnership with Discovery that, from next year, will see the media conglomerate take over global television and multi-platform live rights in 220 territories.
“We are thrilled to add Facebook to an already impressive line-up of global digital and broadcast partners,” said Chris Wandell, the PGA Tour’s vice-president of media business development.
“The PGA Tour has put a premium on distributing exclusive content on emerging media platforms with a goal of reaching new and diverse audiences.”
Interesting times ahead…