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ESPN secures rights to air Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy’s golf league TGL

photo of ESPN
ESPN logo and building are shown in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo: Mike Blake for REUTERS)

ABC snags preview show, ESPN sinks the match

Staff Reports | REUTERS

Walt Disney’s ESPN has clinched the U.S. broadcast rights for TGL, a new primetime golf league created by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, the company said on Thursday.

TGL fuses technology and live action in a two-hour match format and features 18 PGA Tour players split into six teams, one of which is owned by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his tennis Hall of Fame wife Serena Williams.

ABC will broadcast a preview show on Dec. 30, while the inaugural match will air on ESPN network and ESPN+ streaming service during prime time on Jan. 9, the night after the College Football Playoff National Championship.

The move will help Disney add more live sports shows to its roster, as it looks to hold on to its audience base, while trying to steer itself through a challenging near-term environment.

Disney is struggling to make its streaming business profitable, improve the quality of its films, position ESPN to stream directly to consumers, and potentially shed its television networks.

Financial terms of the TGL rights deal were not disclosed.

TGL is developed by Woods and McIlroy’s TMRW Sports in partnership with the PGA Tour. Hedge fund owner Steve Cohen is one of its investors.

Editor’s note: Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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