Rory McIlroy shakes hands with Tiger Woods on the 18th green after they completed a practice round ahead of the 2023 Masters Championship at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 3, 2023.
Christian Petersen | Getty Images
DisneyESPN has Arrested Broadcast rights to broadcast matches from TGL, the emerging golf league led by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
TGL, which is in partnership with the PGA Tour, will make its debut on Jan. 9 as part of a multi-year deal. The pre-show will air on Disney’s ABC broadcast network on December 30.
TGL’s early season games will air closer to other sporting events and appear on Disney’s ESPN+ channel, a move that allows the streamer to acquire more live sports rights.
The opener will air the night after the College Football Playoff title game, and the second game will come the following evening after an NFL playoff game. Both TGL games will be broadcast on ESPN’s traditional television channel and the ESPN+ streaming device. The remainder of the games will be broadcast on ESPN’s television networks, as well as ESPN+.
The launch of the new league comes as golf professionals find themselves at a major crossroads following a proposed deal between the tour and its Public Investment Fund-backed rival LIV Golf in June. The agreement between the PGA Tour and LIV has not yet been finalized. The round has attracted potential outside investors, including Endeavor Holdings Group and Fenway Sports Group, CNBC recently reported. Some external investors are considering submitting a competing bid to the Public Investment Fund’s proposal.
TGL, a new high-tech golf league created by Woods, McIlroy and former NBC Sports executive Mike McCarley, has attracted stars from the PGA Tour. In addition to Woods and McIlroy, other top players, including Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Xander Scheufele, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler and Billy Horschel have committed to play. It is expected that more players will be announced.
The PGA Tour is an investor in the new league, and the new league has said the timing of the event will complement the schedules of players on the tour.
Steve Cohen, the billionaire owner of MLB’s New York Mets, is also an investor after purchasing the New York team’s founding rights to TGL. His team will be managed through his family office, Cohen Private Ventures.
The league will see the Tour’s players divided into six teams, who will play two-hour live matches in a specially built arena in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Matches will feature live events as well as the latest golf technology.
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