ESPN signs TV deal to broadcast Tiger/Rory’s new TGL simulator golf league
It has commitments from a 16 PGA Tour players, has a handful of celebrities signed as team owners and is building a one-of-a-kind arena in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., to hold its competitions. And now TGL, the indoor simulator golf league developed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in partnership with the PGA Tour, has a television network to air its competition when play begins in January 2024.
On Thursday, TGL and ESPN announced a multi-year deal, financial terms of which were not released. The cable channel will air TGL events on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+ with the inaugural TGL match broadcast Jan. 9 in prime time on ESPN and ESPN+ and the second match shown in prime time as well Jan. 16.
Both of the first two matches air a day after significant football programming on ESPN. The first comes after college football’s National Championship game, and the second after a Monday Night Football/NFL Wild Card game. The TGL events will get significant promotion during both football telecast.
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Additionally, ABC will air a “TGL Preview Show” on Dec. 30 that will serve as a fans’ tutorial of sorts for the new golf league, introducing the six teams of PGA Tour and showcasing the SoFi Center and its custom-built virtual course.
“Innovation and creativity are core to our ESPN mission and TGL will bring those tenets to life for golf fans,” said Rosalyn Durant, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions. “TGL is going to be a two-hour presentation unlike anything you have seen before. All players will wear live microphones and viewers will have unprecedented access during competition. It’s an exciting landscape for presenting golf, and we look forward to bringing it to fans.”
Teams will play 15 regular-season matches, followed by a semifinals and finals. All matches will air on ESPN or ESPN2 and be simulcast on ESPN+.
In addition to Woods and McIlroy, TGL has already gotten commitments from the following tour pros: Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler, and Billy Horschel. Tom Kim, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Shane Lowry were the latest commitments announced on Thursday. Two spots remain to be filled.
Four of the six teams also have ownership groups in place.
- TGL Atlanta led by Arthur M. Blank, AMB Sports and Entertainment (Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, PGA TOUR Superstores)
- TGL Boston led by John Henry, Tom Werner, and Fenway Sports Group (Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, Pittsburgh Penguins)
- Los Angeles Golf Club led by Alexis Ohanian (Angel City FC), Serena Williams, and Venus Williams; as well as limited partners the Antetokounmpo brothers, Alex Morgan, Servando Carrasco and Michelle Wie West
- TGL New York led by Steven A. Cohen (New York Mets), Cohen Private Ventures