Discovery Inc, the owner of cable channels including HGTV and Animal Planet, is pushing into live sports programming. The publicly traded company agreed to pay $2 billion for long-term international TV rights to the PGA Tour and –in addition to broadcasting the events– plans to launch a “Netflix-like video service” to house the content, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The 12-year deal, which begins in 2019, covers more than 140 tournaments a year, including about 40 PGA Tour events. The deal includes TV and online rights to the U.S.-based men’s golf circuit and the development of a streaming video service.
According to the Bloomberg report, Discovery’s rights payments will be approximately $50 million a year in 2019 and 2020, rise to $100 million in 2021, and continue to increase through 2030.
The $2 billion deal signals a new focus for the company. Commonly known for its unscripted programming like “Man vs Wild” and “Deadliest Catch,” Discovery is now taking an aim at the live sports market. In addition to the PGA Tour Deal, the company has acquired a valuable pile of intellectual property, including the European rights to the Olympics through 2024 for $1.4 billion.