Discovery's new streaming service GOLF TV debuts in January 2019, although it won't be showing exclusively live golf in the UK just yet

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Is Sky Sports Losing The Golf?

Sky Sports has been the home of golf on TV now for a number of years, but is their time as the exclusive UK golf broadcaster coming to an end?

New streaming platform GOLF TV revealed that is has acquired global rights to the European Tour after recently announcing they would also show the PGA Tour.

GOLF TV is a streaming platform owned by Discovery and launches on 1st Jan 2019. Discovery bought all of the PGA Tour‘s international media rights outside of the United States for the next 12 years in June 2018 for $2bn.

The service, which uses the ‘OTT- Over The Top’ method like a Netflix or Amazon Prime – aims to become the ‘digital home of golf’ for fans across the world.

The announcement regarding the European Tour also includes the next two Ryder Cups and will see Discovery “collaborating to further grow the European Tour’s digital platforms.”

Report: Eleven Sports UK facing closure after four months

The deal will see GOLF TV show over 40 European Tour events each year including every Race to Dubai tournament.

Tiger Woods also signed with the company to produce a range of content including -Weekly practice and instructional videos, Exclusive access into Tiger’s preparation routines, Behind-the-scenes access before and after PGA Tour rounds and Unique and exclusive post-round commentary.

It will showcase the PGA and European Tours from next year but crucially its live exclusive coverage of those Tours won’t be coming to the UK just yet, however its app will be available and feature PGA Tour live coverage of featured holes and groups plus Tiger Woods content from Spring.

Territories it is launching in from 2019 include Australia, Italy, Spain, Russia, Hong Kong, Denmark, Belgium and many more.

As it stands, GOLF TV will show the PGA Tour in the UK from 2022 but not the European Tour, yet.

So, does that mean that by 2022 UK fans who want to watch the PGA Tour will only be able to watch on GOLF TV? Perhaps, especially considering Sky’s current deal to show the PGA Tour ends in, yep you guessed it, 2022.

It spells an interesting time for Sky, who are reportedly putting much of their sport budget into re-acquiring the Champions League football rights after losing them to BT Sport in 2015.

The company also gave up sponsorship of the British Masters with 2019 seeing a new sponsor for the tournament which was previous ‘hosted by Sky Sports’.

Sky Sports was also the home of all four men’s majors up until 2017 where they didn’t opt to show the USPGA Championship which has been on BBC and then Eleven Sports over the last two years.

Interestingly as well, we are yet to see a UK broadcaster announce coverage of the 2019 Masters after Sky managed to secure a deal to show the 2018 tournament despite rumours of BT Sport getting it.

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The way we watch sport, and just about everything, is changing from the traditional methods and this has already been seen in the sporting world with the launch of Eleven Sports, which currently shows the Spanish, Dutch and Italian football leagues in the UK plus other sport including some LPGA Tour golf.

DAZN in the USA has also pledged $2m to UK boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom company to put on fights plus now shows the sport’s biggest name – Saul Canelo Alvarez.

OTT methods in sport are also huge across the world, with DAZN also showing pretty much every big football league in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan including the Champions League in all barring Switzerland.

So, will golf follow this OTT route? Quite possibly.

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