In a first for golf, the PGA Tour will livestream every shot from every player over all four rounds from the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, on March 12-15, 2020.
This bold livestreaming initiative will be made available to PGA Tour Live subscribers on either NBC Sports Gold or Amazon Prime Video Channels.
PGA Tour Entertainment and NBC Sports Group are working together to showcase more than 32,000 shots over 72 holes from a starting field of 144 by utilizing nearly 120 cameras positioned throughout The Players Stadium Course, with each group having its own dedicated stream.
“Our vision is to bring every shot in every PGA Tour golf tournament live and on-demand to our fans, and this is the first step to making that happen,” said PGA Tour chief media officer Rick Anderson.
This year Augusta National made virtually every shot from every round made available on the Masters website and app for the first time. Near-live highlights were on digital platforms within minutes of the shots being made and were not available to Masters broadcast partners.
The announcement comes as the PGA Tour is engaged in talks with media companies about a new television deal. Its current partnership – worth approximately $400m a year – with NBC, Golf Channel and CBS runs through the end of 2021. ESPN, Amazon, FOX and AT&T are interested in partnering with the PGA Tour, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The streaming initiative could have other, wider benefits. “We’re confident that by bringing all of this competition coverage out and producing it all, we will find multiple uses for it,” Luis Goicouria, the PGA Tour’s senior vice president of media, told Forbes. “It could be daily fantasy, it could be gambling, it could be international players who never make the broadcast and now people in Sweden or Japan can now watch their favorite golfer. It could be any number of applications we haven’t even thought of yet.”
In addition, the PGA Tour is introducing a new TOURCast product on its mobile apps and website, which will allow fans to follow every shot from each group with a 3D rendering of the particular hole and shot trails.