GOLFTV Signs "Charismatic" Francesco Molinari To Exclusive Content Deal

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He’s a wonderful Champion Golfer of the Year, nice fellow and a fantastic story, but uh…charismatic? Maybe they were thinking of his charismatic brother Eduardo?

For Immediate Release…

Francesco Molinari signs exclusive global content deal with GOLFTV 

·        Reigning Open Champion and European Ryder Cup hero joins GOLFTV

·       Molinari to feature in exclusive GOLFTV content, including instruction series, behind-the-scenes access and post-round commentary 

·       Molinari: “GOLFTV’s passion is clear, and I’m proud to play a part in their mission to become the digital home of golf.”

NEW YORK, LONDON, April 17, 2019 – GOLFTV today announced a deal with reigning Open champion Francesco Molinari to produce a range of exclusive content for the live and on-demand video streaming service.

GOLFTV subscribers will be able to follow the charismatic Italian closer than ever before with unique behind-the-scenes access at PGA TOUR events. Italy’s first-ever major champion will give GOLFTV an unprecedented view into his tournament preparations and provide exclusive post-round reactions at select PGA TOUR events. 

GOLFTV will also produce exclusive video instruction series with Molinari, in which the World No. 7 will share insights into the techniques and practice routines that have helped him win 10 worldwide titles (including a major championship) and become the first European player to win five out of five matches in a single Ryder Cup. As part of the arrangement, Molinari, who continued his excellent recent form with a tied-fifth finish at The Masters on Sunday, will sport the GOLFTV logo on his staff bag at all tournaments.

Commenting on the partnership, Francesco Molinari said: “I love what Discovery and GOLFTV are aiming to achieve and I’m thrilled to be joining the team on its journey. It’s an exciting time for golf and for me personally, so I’m proud to play a part in their mission to become the digital home of golf around the world. I can’t wait to share my insights, reactions and opinions on GOLFTV. It’s going to be great for the fans to see what I do, and give an insight on my team behind-the-scenes and all the stuff that we do to show up on Thursday morning ready to go and try and win a golf tournament.

 

“I’ve been watching a lot of GOLFTV content and of course saw the reaction of their Italian commentators to my win at Bay Hill, which was truly amazing. Their passion for golf is clear and I’m hoping that by sharing my own practice tips it will inspire more people to pick up their clubs and play, and of course watch all the biggest tournaments on GOLFTV throughout the year,” Molinari added.    

Alex Kaplan, President and General Manager, Discovery Golf, said: “As a leading player on both the European Tour and PGA TOUR, Francesco is one of world’s most recognizable and popular golfers. We are delighted that he’s joining the GOLFTV team and excited to hear from him on a regular basis as we go behind the scenes and learn how he’s elevated his game to become Italy’s first major champion and a European Ryder Cup legend.

“Our partnership with Francesco further supports our broader ambition to grow GOLFTV into a true ecosystem for all things golf, powering people’s passions for watching, learning and playing,” Kaplan added.

The news that Molinari will link up with GOLFTV follows November’s announcement that 15-time major champion Tiger Woods, who captured his fifth Masters title last week, had joined in an exclusive content partnership agreement. In February, GOLFTV revealed it had further strengthened its line-up of experts with former Ladies European Tour professional Henni Zuel joining the streaming service as Lead Tour Correspondent. 

GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR, launched in January 2019 by Discovery and the TOUR, is available to fans around the world.* It presents more than 2,000 hours of live action each year** - including THE PLAYERS Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup - as well as a wide range of premium content on-demand, featuring the sport’s most exciting moments, superstar players and tournaments on every screen and device. 

GOLFTV users in all international countries* can enjoy live coverage of the PGA TOUR’s Featured Holes and Featured Groups live streams, which feature many of the best players on the TOUR and appears before the traditional television broadcast window.  Full live rights are available on GOLFTV in a range of markets and growing year-on-year**. 

7.7 Overnight: 2019 Masters Scores Strong Ratings Despite Early Start

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Paulsen at Sports Media Watch has an excellent analysis of 2019 Masters final round ratings, which drew the lowest rating since 2004 but a fantastic share during the morning/early afternoon telecast expedited due to an ominous forecast. Combined with the 3.4 for the replay of the 12th hole on, and the total audience size was in line with Tiger’s 2010 return.

He writes:

Keep in mind that ratings are the percentage of homes watching a program out of the total number of television homes. Those numbers will be inevitably lower when fewer homes are watching television (as is the case during the morning).

Using the share, which is the percentage of homes watching out of the number of televisions in use, Sunday’s telecast fared much better. It had a 21 share, up 17% from last year (18) and tied with 2013 as the highest for the Masters since 2011.

An encore presentation of the final round delivered a 3.4 overnight from 3-7 PM ET. Combined, the live and encore telecasts grossed an 11.1 overnight. That would be the highest for the Masters since 2010, which marked Woods’ return to golf following his marital infidelity scandal (12.0).

Coupled with Saturday’s huge number and streaming’s erosion of ratings still appears not to have harmed the Masters.

GolfTV Getting Into The (Tiger) Match Business; Will This Kill "The Match"?

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Joe Levy of SportsProMedia.com reports on plans to have Tiger star in exhibition matches exclusive to the PGA Tour’s international distributor in select countries, GolfTV. The idea was revealed by Discovery CEO David Zaslav at the CAA World Congress of Sports, who said Woods will is all in and will have control of the format as part of his deal with GolfTV. One match is already scheduled for Tokyo.

Zaslav added that Woods was a key figure in the planning and implementation of these events, adding: "Tiger is going to decide what is the best format. Should it be one-on-one? Two-on-two? Should we have two matches going on at the same time. But he’s all in."

"We could bring in some local players, we could evolve the format so that it really works," continued Zaslav.

He added: “[Woods] can have a direct relationship with people that love golf and figure out what they want to see and what they want from him.”

This would seem to potentially doom another edition of The Match given that as an AT&T/BR Love/TNT play while GolfTV is the PGA Tour’s international, non-US distributor.

The move certainly makes Discovery’s deal with Woods look better given that the only content generated (so far) has been limited to Tweeted sitdown interviews.

Holly: "The golf at Fox just didn’t turn out to be what we thought it would be."

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While Fox has settled into their USGA broadcast role and delivered several innovative features as predicted, broadcaster Holly Sonders does admit some things never materialized in the form of other Fox golf properties or golf shows on Fox Sports 1 .

Talking to Golfweek’s Adam Woodward about the state of her career and her Michigan State Spartans, the intriguing quote probably is a view shared by the USGA in wondering why the network never added other golf to their lineup:

Q: Now that you’re in the studio and not doing golf coverage, what are you most excited about going forward, and what will you miss most about covering golf?

A: We never say never. Golf is still a part of who I am and what got me here. But the golf at Fox just didn’t turn out to be what we thought it would be. We hoped we would get more PGA Tour rights, and it just didn’t end up happening. But I wanted to be in the studio and show my personality. It’s what I like to do, make people smile and think and bring the best out of my co-host. There’s nothing like walking out of a studio knowing you kicked ass. And then there are a million projects that are on the table that are more entertainment and fun, so I’m kind of in that world too, and that’s been really good.

PGA Tour Dreaming Of Capturing Every Player, Every Hole With Eye On International Viewers

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Evin Priest considers the plight of Australians who are trying to stream golf via GolfTV and watching their native sons.

While the technology is still a ways off, the continued goal of the PGA Tour and GolfTV is to “localise” broadcasts so that fans can watch top stars from their country.

Golf TV executives believe the new platform is performing well in its eight markets but acknowledged the need to localise broadcasts.

Australian fans are able to watch golf's major tours live on Fox Sports as well as on Golf TV through personal devices.

Oh to see those numbers…sorry, go on.

Golf TV's future plans are to capture every shot at PGA Tour events and have a bunker-style facility package of live footage for individual countries.

"The vision for us, which is a number of years away, is every shot, of every player, on every hole," Rick Anderson, the PGA Tour's chief media officer, said.

But with PGA Tour fields ranging from 30 to 156 players, how Golf TV will capture every shot is yet to be determined.

"I want to be clear here ... I can't put an exact timeline on it, but we have identified the need to localise the viewing experience," Kaplan said.

I suppose I could see how some golfers are like teams to a fan, but in an individual sport where only one player in the modern game elicits a desire from fans to see every shot he hits, I’m still having a hard time seeing how this is the best use of resources. But maybe international markets may be a different animal and the approach may sell.

2:30 ET: Azinger, Faldo And Tirico Reuniting During Players Round 3

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NBC, CBS and Fox will have reps in the Players second round booth as Paul Azinger, Nick Faldo and Mike Tirico get the band back together from their old ABC golf days.

The Forecaddie explains how this happened and what made this trio such an entertaining broadcast team.

The three got together Wednesday night on Vantage Point for a roundtable chat, with Gary Koch joining in.

"Golf Channel Scores Most-Watched February"

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But streaming is the answer to all of golf’s prayers!

For Immediate Release:

GOLF CHANNEL SCORES MOST-WATCHED FEBRUARY 

26.3 Million Unique Viewers Tuned into Golf Coverage Across GOLF Channel and NBC in February, Doubling January 

GOLF Channel Returns as No. 1 Single-Sport Network in Total Day 

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 4, 2019) – NBC Sports Group’s golf coverage posted its most-watched February ever, averaging a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 142,000 viewers-per-minute in Total Day (24-hour period). GOLF Channel also returned as the No. 1 single-sport network in February, which became the most-watched month for GOLF since March 2018 (157,000 TAD). 26.3 million unique viewers tuned into golf coverage across NBC Sports in February, driven by PGA TOUR coverage on NBC delivering its most-watched February in 11 Years, according to data released by The Nielsen Company. 

“Following GOLF Channel’s most-watched year in 2018, February’s record viewership shows that the golf season is heating back up on GOLF Channel and NBC,” said Mike McCarley, president, GOLF, NBC Sports. “This momentum will continue as the sport’s new schedule builds with THE PLAYERS’ return to March – the first of six championship events over the next six straight months.”

Additional February highlights include:

  • PGA TOUR coverage on NBC in February posted 3.25 million viewers-per-minute (Waste Management Phoenix Open and the WGC-Mexico Championship).

  • Live coverage of the PGA TOUR in February on GOLF Channel drew 682,000 average viewers per minute.

  • GOLF Digital and PGA TOUR LIVE on NBC Sports Gold in February combined to account for nearly 108 million minutes streamed.

2019 WGC Mexico City Overnight Rating Drops Slightly

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Adding Tiger Woods to the mix did not deliver his usual bump due likely to Dustin Johnson playing in control through most of the weekend in Mexico City.

From SBD’s Austin Karp:

NBC yesterday drew a 2.8 overnight rating for the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship, which saw Dustin Johnson win by five strokes over Rory McIlroy. Last year, NBC drew a 2.9 rating for the Sunday telecast, which saw Phil Mickelson win in a one-hole playoff with Justin Thomas. 

"Nothing unites Golf Twitter like protestations about the CBS telecasts"

From Alan Shipnuck’s Golf.com mailbag:

If the CBS telecast were a person would they have dinner at 4:00 pm in a Bob Evans? Would they also wear a sweater in July in Boca Raton? -@HouseSacco

It’s true that the CBS telecast retains the sensibilities of Ken Venturi, who would now be pushing 90. I dare say that, except for slow play, nothing unites Golf Twitter like protestations about the CBS telecasts. The presentation and metabolism simply isn’t working with the modern golf fan. What’s interesting is that the PGA Tour knows it, because minions from the communications dept. have pushed back against some of the fiercest on-line critics. Perhaps all of this energy would be better spent helping CBS improve its product.

"Behind the scenes of Johnny Miller's broadcast farewell"

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Ryan Lavner of GolfChannel.com tagged along with Johnny Miller for his final days with NBC Sports, and besides the still horrifying revelation of Johnny’s love for cheese whiz, there is plenty to enjoy.

This was fun:

The provocative commentary turned off some fans at home and didn’t endear Miller to those in the locker room, many of whom thought he was a bitter know-it-all lobbing grenades from above. Televised sports is rife with pros-turned-broadcasters who offer platitudes and coddle the athletes they cover. Miller never intended to be malicious; his mantra was accuracy, truth and honesty will always prevail.

“I like to say that I take off their clothes, but I leave their underwear on,” Miller says.  

If he ever thought he crossed the line on-air, he took two fingers and zipped his mouth shut. That was his cue to change the subject, even if a stunned Hicks sometimes needed 15 seconds of silence to recover.

Early in this farewell telecast, Hicks tries to goad Miller into a few more golf spike-in-mouth moments – “We know you’ve been holding back for 29 years, so have at it!” – but the opportunity for some vintage Johnny candor never presents itself. This is a day of celebration, after all, and sprinkled throughout the broadcast are tributes from Tour legends and past commissioners, NBC colleagues and other notable broadcasters, even a taped message from President Trump

For those who missed it, Roger Maltbie’s live farewell was incredible:

 

Roundup: Farewell's To Johnny Miller As He Gets Ready For His Final Broadcast

After nearly 30 years in the booth, Johnny Miller will call his final NBC broadcast on Saturday while working part of Friday’s Waste Management Open telecast on Golf Channel.

The broadcast, with NBC filling in for Super Bowl broadcaster CBS, will represent the 20th consecutive year of Miller and Dan Hicks making them the longest-tenured 18th tower tandem in broadcast golf history.

The farewells are flowing and the takes have all been a bit different.

David Feherty’s reflections as only Feherty can summarize a career.

Eamon Lynch points out how players came around to respecting Johnny after some rough days early on. Winning at Pebble Beach in 1994 delivered another level of street cred for those who forgot how incredible he was in the mid-1970s.

Speaking of that, Jim McCabe looks back at Johnny’s special relationship with desert golf.

Jerry Tarde recalls various Johnny stories for Golf Digest.

Josh Sens recaps Johnny’s 14 most memorable moments.

Tom Hoffarth reminds us how much we’ll miss Miller.

Of course the late Dick Enberg is gone but another sidekick of Johnny’s remembered him on this week’s Real Sports. The video here, the text of Bryant Gumbel’s remarks below:

After 29 years as golf’s preeminent analyst, Johnny is calling it quits, leaving his seat in the tower on the 18th hole, and leaving a television void that is irreplaceable. 

I had the pleasure of being Johnny’s TV partner on his very first broadcast back in 1990. That’s when he famously used the word ‘choke’ as a player stood over an important shot. In subsequent tournaments, he raised hackles by saying one player ‘should’ve just stayed home,’ and that another had a swing ‘that would make a great player puke.’

That such remarks often caused a raucous speaks well of Johnny, and less so of the sad lack of candor in televised sports. In a business that is too often bland, Miller’s honesty has been unusual, his insights blunt, and his assessments smart.

That’s been his stock and trade since Day 1, so on his last day there’s no telling just what he might say from the PGA Tour stop in Phoenix this weekend. 

Look – televised golf may not be your thing, but if you never caught Johnny Miller’s work, you should try it, because there’s no one quite like him in all of live sports broadcasting. 

Given the increasing coddling of modern athletes in general, and touring pros in particular, I doubt there ever will be.

Mike O’Malley compiles the best of Johnny wisdom through the years.

Skratch put together this tribute of Johnny being Johnny moments:

2019 Farmers Insurance Open Ratings Hold Steady Based On Recent Years

With 2018’s final round running long and then going to a playoff seen mostly on Golf Channel, the best ratings comparison for the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open won by Justin Rose may be 2017, notes SBD’s Austin Karp:

Last year, CBS drew a 2.9 for Sunday’s telecast, but had to hand the finish off to Golf Channel for five playoff holes between Day, Ryan Palmer and Alex Noren. The playoff ended up finishing Monday morning. Two years ago, the final round drew a 2.1 overnight for Jon Rahm’s three-stroke win.

The 2019 edition drew a 2.2 against the Pro Bowl (5.7).

While flat in sports these days is generally good, with Tiger on course for part of the telecast the number could be seen as a tad disappointing given his recent impact on ratings.


Johnny To Hang Up His Headset After Waste Management Third Round

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Good move to let Johnny Miller say his goodbye after a third round telecast and not when a PGA Tour event Sunday is playing out or after when everyone is watching the Los Angeles Rams vault to an early lead over the New England Patriots.

For Immediate Release:

JOHNNY MILLER TO CALL FINAL BROADCAST ON SATURDAY AT WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN AFTER NEARLY 30 YEARS AS LEAD GOLF ANALYST 

NBC Sports to Celebrate Miller’s Three Decades with the Network through

Special Tributes and Reflections During Live Third Round Broadcast

 

ORLANDO, Fla., (Jan. 23, 2019) – Johnny Miller will call his final broadcast next Saturday (Feb. 2) during NBC Sports’ live third round coverage of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, following nearly 30 years spent as the network’s lead golf analyst. The broadcast will celebrate Miller’s three decades in the 18th tower through special tributes and reflections during third round coverage from the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona. 

“Johnny Miller has been a fixture in television for generations of golf fans, with his pointed, unfiltered approach and commitment to always calling it like he sees it for the viewer at home,” said Tommy Roy, lead golf producer, NBC Sports. “Sundays on the PGA TOUR are all about crowning a deserving champion, so we’ll offer our reflections and gratitude to Johnny during Saturday’s third round coverage, as we celebrate his revered broadcast career.”

For Miller – a World Golf Hall of Fame member – the event is a fitting one to mark his final broadcast, as a two-time winner of the tournament in 1974-’75, helping to earn him the “Desert Fox” nickname for his success on “desert-style” courses over the course of his playing career.

NBC Sports’ plans to celebrate Miller’s career during Saturday’s third round coverage will center around dedicated tributes, reflections and other elements, including:

  • Anecdotes from PGA TOUR players (past and present) offering perspective on Miller’s impact on the sport and how it’s covered on television.

  • Reflections on Miller from fellow sports broadcasters across the industry.

  • A “thanks for the memories”-style tribute from other NBCUniversal personalities.

  • A special acknowledgment from Dan Hicks, Miller’s broadcast partner since 2000, on the symbolism of the Waste Management Phoenix Open being the analyst’s final broadcast.

  • Retrospective elements from Miller’s broadcast career, including memorable sequences, occasional divisive moments, and other highlights over the past 29 years.

Next week will represent the 20th consecutive (and final) year of Miller and Hicks sitting alongside one another in the broadcast booth, a record for the longest-tenured 18th tower tandem in broadcast golf. NBC Sports Group will carry nearly 20 live hours of tournament coverage from the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 31-Feb. 3. During Sunday’s final round broadcast on NBC, the network’s new lead analyst Paul Azinger will join Hicks during the closing stretch of the event, before making his official debut at the WGC-Mexico Championship (Feb. 21-24), where he’ll call all four days of coverage.

Mid-Round Interviews Fail To Take Down Round One Of The Sentry TOC

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The PGA Tour’s request of players to consider on-course, mid-round interviews passed its round one test at the 2019 Sentry TOC, with Patton Kizzire, Dustin Johnson and Marc Leishman all reporting no major side effects from penetrating questioning.

Leishman did, however, hit a poor tee shot at 17 after a chat at 16, but as Ben Everill notes for PGATour.com, the Aussie was not blaming the loss of focus on having a microphone in the vicinity of his lips.

“Nah that was just me, that was just a crap shot,” Leishman joked after his 5-under 68 left him fifth.

“I do (those type of interviews) in Australia every year; I think it's cool as it gives good access for the fans.

“I'm certainly not blaming my bad shot on it as it was walking up to 16 green so it wasn't as though it was right before (that tee shot).

"No one is going to blame an interview if they go birdie, birdie, birdie.”

Oh never rule anything out, Leish!

PGA Tour Revisiting Mid-Round Interviews, Players Sound So Incredibly Not Enthused

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Given that most of the players have little of interest to say after a round or shy away from offering insights for fear of revealing their team’s vaunted trade secrets, I’m not sure this will go very far. Nonetheless, according to Doug Ferguson, the PGA Tour has begun asking players what they think and surprisingly it’s the younger generation sounding resistant.

Justin Thomas? Not so much.

Thomas talks plenty during his round, usually to himself or with caddie Jimmy Johnson. The idea of stopping for a quick interview was not appealing to him.

“I’ve just been asked about it,” he said. “I said, ‘No.’ It’s not me. I do a lot of self-talking. That’s mine and Jimmy’s time, whether we’re talking about whatever, or even the next shot. For me, there’s no benefit. It’s only going to make me look worse.”

I can see Thomas’s point on looking like a young Gregg Popovich since he’s someone who puts on a game face and turns a bit feisty inside the ropes over the course of five hours.

Rory’s view caught me by surprise, however:

“I’ve been approached in Europe because they’ve done it for a couple of years,” McIlroy said. “And I’ve said, ‘No,’ every single time.”

Well, ok then!

Done correctly, an on-course interview can be incredibly charming, especially on Thursdays and Fridays. If anyone has seen or heard one of Tim Barter’s for Sky Sports, you know what I mean.

A couple of samples:

People Still Complain To The FCC About Overheard Golf Course &^$-Bombs

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Nice work by Golf.com’s Josh Berhow to obtain the uptick in FCC complaints over 2018 on-course obscenities. Instagram subscribers to Bob Menery, these are not.

Interestingly it was not Tiger or Justin Thomas but the gentle Xander Schauffele who earned the most complaints for his Open Championship swearing.

“On SUNDAY, my family was treated to a golfer saying the word ‘s—‘ during The Open on NBC Golf,” wrote the viewer from Paradise Valley, Ariz. “Don’t they have a delay to cut that sound out? Seriously, a Sunday morning shouldn’t have programming with indecent language.”

PGA Tour Live On NBC Sports Gold: Christmas Price While Supplies Last!*

PGA Tour Live moves to a new U.S.-only platform in 2019 and purchases before January 20th are $49.99, jumping to $64.99 or $9.99 a month when coverage begins at the Desert Classic.

The package again includes all pre-Golf Channel or pre-network coverage as well as Featured Group coverage until network coverage begins. For those with a cable subscription, the app will be updated to include Golf Channel and NBC coverage for an easy switchover when the events are on the network (see photo above). For CBS weeks, you’ll have to switch over to the CBS or PGA Tour apps.

For Immediate Release below. Most noteworthy is the pledge to have tracer technology on all holes, a huge increase in hours and a lot more featured group coverage:

PGA TOUR LIVE LAUNCHES BIGGER & BETTER PACKAGE ON NBC SPORTS GOLD IN 2019

Now with Four Days of Coverage, PGA TOUR LIVE to Provide Nearly 900 Hours of Premium, Live Tournament Programming, More Than Doubling Total from Last Season

Exclusive Live Coverage of the Best Players in the World From 28 PGA TOUR Events, Including THE PLAYERS & FedExCup Playoffs

PGA TOUR LIVE Now Accessible via Double the Number of Supported Platforms: Roku, Chromecast and More, in addition to Apple TV, and Android and iOS Devices 

PGA TOUR LIVE Season Pass On Sale Now on NBC Sports Gold for Early-Bird Season-Pass Price of $49.99; Regular Price $64.99; Monthly Pass $9.99

ORLANDO & PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLA.  December 17, 2018 – The PGA TOUR and NBC Sports Group announced that PGA TOUR LIVE, the PGA TOUR’s direct-to-consumer subscription video service that live streams extensive Featured Groups coverage of the best golfers in the world, has been enhanced and is now available for purchase in the United States on NBC Sports GoldNBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer live streaming product. PGA TOUR LIVE season passes are on sale now for an early-bird price of $49.99, available through the Desert Classic (Jan 17-20), while a monthly pass can be purchased for $9.99. After January 20, a season pass will cost $64.99.

In 2019, PGA TOUR LIVE will present the most robust service in its history, now with four days of live coverage from 27 PGA TOUR events, new 10-minute “Speed Round” recaps for Featured Groups players, expansive VOD content, and integrated scoring and statistics. It is also available on double the number of supported platforms vs. 2018.

“The demand and growth of PGA TOUR LIVE has been incredible since we launched in 2015,” said Rick Anderson, Chief Media Officer of the PGA TOUR. “In 2019, we are thrilled to announce that our live coverage will be more robust, more accessible and significantly better for subscribers of PGA TOUR LIVE on NBC Sports Gold.”

In 2019, fans can get the gift of an unprecedented amount of PGA TOUR coverage across more platforms than ever before,” said Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “Building upon years of partnership, NBC Sports and the PGA TOUR are enhancing PGA TOUR LIVE by more than doubling the live hours and number of platforms and expanding live coverage from two to four days. Fans will benefit from the addition of PGA TOUR LIVE to NBC Sports Gold.”

A complement to the hundreds of hours of televised PGA TOUR programming, PGA TOUR LIVE will provide exclusive, live Featured Groups coverage during all four days from 27 PGA TOUR events, including THE PLAYERS and FedExCup Playoffs, after kicking off with Thursday-Friday coverage at the Desert Classic on January 17, 2019. New for 2019, PGA TOUR LIVE has expanded Featured Groups coverage on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning at approximately 9 a.m. ET and running until the start of the PGA TOUR’s NBC and CBS coverage windows in the afternoon. Additionally, PGA TOUR LIVE will provide free Featured Holes coverage complementing NBC and CBS broadcasts every weekend.

Through NBC Sports Gold, PGA TOUR LIVE is now on more supported platforms than ever before. In addition to web, iOS, Android and Apple TV, the subscription service is available for the first time on Roku, Chromecast, and more. In July, the PGA TOUR and NBC Sports Group announced a multi-year digital partnership to carry PGA TOUR LIVE on NBC Sports Gold. PGA TOUR Entertainment produces all live coveragefor PGA TOUR LIVE.

PGA TOUR LIVE on NBC Sports Gold includes:

o   870 Hours of Premium, Live Featured Groups Coverage: up from 414 hours last year – including expanded Featured Groups coverage across four days at 27 PGA TOUR events;

o   Integrated Statistical Feeds: users never have to leave the action with integrated live leaderboards and player scorecards;

o   Speed Rounds: fans can get caught up on the day’s action with new condensed rounds from each player in the Featured Groups coverage, allowing them to watch every shot in approximately 10 minutes;

o   Event Recaps: watch an event recap in an hour-long cut down show that highlights the best of that week’s tournament;

o   Expanded Integrated Statistics and Scoring: viewers can explore stats at their fingertips while watching live coverage;

o   Shot Tracing Technology: used for every hole on the golf course;

o   Video On Demand: upon launch, PGA TOUR LIVE will be stocked with the following archival programming: 2018 PLAYERS Official Film; 2018 FedExCup Playoffs Official Film; and 2018 PGA TOUR Rewind of 16 tournaments.

State Of The Game 86: Richard Gillis And The PGA Tour’s Dance With Discovery

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Richard Gillis, sport business writer and consultant joins us to discuss the PGA Tour’s new partnership with Discovery to deliver international audiences GOLFTV, launching in select countries January 1.

Rod Morri, Mike Clayton and yours truly break down the potential ramifications with Gillis, who has joined the pod before upon publication of The Captain Myth, which also comes up in the show.

As always, you can listen wherever podcasts are streamed, download or listen on iTunes, or below:

Big Timer Charlie Rymer Hangs Up His (Studio) IFB

After six years of waking up way too early, Charlie Rymer has dished out his last Watch-And-Learn tip to Morning Drive viewers.

The Forecaddie with the report on Rymer’s final show.

Charlie’s Tweet with some really stellar replies from many in the golf world:

Having had the privilege to work with (and needle) Charlie, I can’t speak highly enough about his knowledge and passion for the game. Furthermore, watching him work and sound-out a segment was always a joy in person, and I’m not sure golf fans realize just how astute of an observer he is. Happy TV trails my friend!

Preview: Exonerated Valentino Dixon Sees His First Golf Course After 27 Years In Prison

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Golf Channel Films is debuting a swiftly but beautifully compiled documentary on the release of Valentino Dixon after 27 years in prison. Dixon, a non-golfer who’d never seen a course, painted famous and imaginary golf holes while passing the time until a group of Georgetown undergrads, Golf Digest’s Max Adler and Golf Channel’s team (including Jimmy Roberts) exposed his story.

The film includes Dixon’s first-ever visit to Pebble Beach, a frequent subject of paintings.

The summary for the film’s Tuesday, December 11 debut at 8 pm ET:

For 27 years, Valentino Dixon had been serving a 33 1/3 years to life sentence in prison for a murder he claims he did not commit. This past September, Dixon was released from prison following a series of events that began with a sketch depicting one of golf’s most iconic holes. Golf Channel’s latest Golf Films project, 27 Years: The Exoneration of Valentino Dixon unravels how Dixon’s drawing ultimately led to newly-discovered evidence pointing toward his innocence, and follows Dixon as he visits picturesque Pebble Beach, the first golf course he’d ever seen in person.

Here is Adler’s recent story on Dixon’s release and the original Digest story.

The preview: