ESPN to Broadcast Matches from Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s TGL Golf League
Disney’s ESPN has secured the broadcast rights to air matches from the newly formed TGL (The Golf League), led by golf legends Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. The partnership between TGL and the PGA Tour will debut on January 9, 2023, as part of a multi-year deal. A preview show will also air on Disney’s broadcast network ABC on December 30.
The early games of the TGL season will be aired in conjunction with other sports events and will be available on Disney’s streaming platform, ESPN+. This move allows ESPN+ to enhance its live sports rights offerings.
The inaugural match will take place the night after the College Football Playoff’s title game, followed by another match the evening after an NFL wild-card playoff game. Both of these matches will be aired on ESPN’s traditional TV channel as well as ESPN+. The remaining matches will be broadcasted on ESPN’s TV networks and streamed on ESPN+.
This venture comes at a critical time for professional golf, as the PGA Tour considers a merger with Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf. The PGA Tour’s agreement with LIV Golf is still in the works, and outside investors, including Endeavor Group Holdings and Fenway Sports Group, are exploring alternative proposals to rival the Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) offer.
TGL, a new primetime golf league, was co-founded by Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and former NBC Sports executive Mike McCarley. Notable players, such as Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Collin Morikawa, have committed to participating in the league. The PGA Tour itself is also an investor in TGL, and the league’s schedule will be coordinated to align with the players’ existing commitments to the Tour.
Billionaire Steve Cohen, owner of the New York Mets baseball team, is also involved in TGL as an investor. Cohen purchased the founding rights to the New York team in TGL, which will be managed by his family office, Cohen Private Ventures.
The TGL matches will take place in a specially built arena in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where Tour players will compete in two-hour, head-to-head match-play matches. These matches will incorporate state-of-the-art golf technology, providing a unique and immersive experience for both players and viewers.
With ESPN now broadcasting TGL matches, golf enthusiasts can look forward to an exciting new addition to the sport’s landscape. The combination of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and other top players in a high-tech and innovative league promises to deliver thrilling competition and captivating viewing experiences.