ESPN Acquires TGL U.S. Media Rights; TGL Presented by SoFi to be Seen Exclusively on ESPN Platforms

Golf

ESPN Acquires TGL U.S. Media Rights; TGL Presented by SoFi to be Seen Exclusively on ESPN Platforms

All Matches to Air on ESPN or ESPN2 with Streaming Simulcast on ESPN+

ABC to Air TGL presented by SoFi Preview Show; First Two Matches in Prime Time on ESPN during Big Weeks of Football Programming

TGL programming will be featured across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+

BRISTOL, Conn. and ORLANDO, Fla. — TGL presented by SoFi, the new tech-forward, team golf league developed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s TMRW Sports in partnership with the PGA TOUR, and ESPN have announced a multi-year partnership that makes ESPN the exclusive home of TGL matches in the United States beginning in January 2024. The announcement was made today by Rosalyn Durant, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions, and Mike McCarley, Founder & CEO, TMRW Sports and TGL.

TGL programming will be featured across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+.  ABC will air a TGL presented by SoFi preview show on Saturday, Dec. 30. The inaugural TGL match will air in prime time on ESPN and ESPN+ on Tuesday, Jan. 9, the night following the the College Football Playoff National Championship. The second TGL match will air in prime time on ESPN and ESPN+ on Tuesday, Jan. 16, the night following ESPN’s Monday Night Football NFL Wild Card game. All Matches will air on either ESPN or ESPN2 and simulcast on ESPN+.

“Innovation and creativity are core to our ESPN mission and TGL will bring those tenets to life for golf fans,” said Durant. “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.”

“We believe ESPN is the right home for TGL presented by SoFi and recognize the strategic benefits of Disney’s portfolio. ESPN is often the first stop for sports fans, no matter the platform, and we’re honored by ESPN’s view that TGL complements their current offering of major league sports,” said McCarley. “ESPN has embraced the concept from our very first meeting and we’re looking forward to launching TGL in prime time on ESPN and bringing our teams of the PGA TOUR’s biggest stars to their ESPN’s legion of sports fans. The two-hour match format has been designed for today’s sports fan, as it’s rooted in the traditions of golf, but adds technical elements that are unique to a modern, sports arena environment.”

TGL presented by SoFI will debut in January 2024:

  • ESPN: TGL Week 1: The inaugural TGL match will air on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+. This will benefit from a promotional surge the night prior during ESPN’s coverage of the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, traditionally one of the most-watched ESPN events every year.
  • ESPN: TGL Week 2: TGL’s second week match will air on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. ET, the night after ESPN’s Monday Night Football NFL Wild Card Game that airs on both ESPN and ABC.
  • ABC: TGL Preview Show: On Saturday, Dec. 30, ABC will air a TGL presented by SoFi preview show that will delve into the debut of this new golf league and introduce the six teams of PGA TOUR players, some of whom will demonstrate the advanced technology behind TGL in SoFi Center, the custom-built TGL arena.
  • All Matches will air on ESPN or ESPN2 and simulcast on ESPN+.

A detailed schedule for the inaugural season of TGL will be released at a later date.

TGL presented by SoFi is a new golf league that fuses advanced tech and live action with teams of PGA TOUR stars across a season of matches in prime time starting on Tuesday, Jan. 9, on ESPN and ESPN+. SoFi Center is TGL’s purpose-built arena in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on the campus of Palm Beach State College. Technology is a foundational element of TGL, offering fans a progressive, shorter format presentation of team golf, featuring some of the PGA TOUR’s biggest superstars. Currently, 12 players committed to playing in TGL have been announced, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler, and Billy Horschel. With currently 5 of the top 10 players in the world, this initial list of committed players has won 28 major championships, 190 PGA TOUR wins, and collectively has ranked as the World No. 1 for 886 weeks. Additionally, nine announced TGL players represented their countries last week at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

  • TGL Teams: Six teams of top PGA TOUR players in three-player, head-to-head match play.
  • Custom-Built Venue: SoFi Center is a first-of-its-kind experience for golf enabled by a data-rich, virtual course paired with a tech-infused, short-game complex.
  • Tech-Enabled Fan Experience: High-energy, greenside fan experience with every shot live within a two-hour televised match. All TGL players will be mic’d up.
  • Inaugural Season: 15 regular season matches followed by semifinals and finals matches, on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN+ in the U.S.

Team names, brands, front office staff and assigned players will be unveiled later this year, as will the inaugural schedule and other operational and fan-centric elements of TGL presented by SoFi. Currently four of six team ownership groups have been announced:

  • 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

 

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About ESPN

ESPN, the world’s leading multiplatform sports entertainment brand, features eight U.S. television networks, the leading sports app, direct-to-consumer ESPN+, leading social and digital platforms, ESPN.com, ESPN Audio, endeavors on every continent around the world, and more. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc. (an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) and 20 percent by Hearst.

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the No. 1 sports streaming platform, serving fans in the U.S. with exclusive access to more than 27,000 live sports events each year, an unmatched library of on-demand replays and acclaimed original content, and premium written articles by the top reporters and analysts from ESPN.com. Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $9.99 a month (or $99.99 per year) at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or in the ESPN App on mobile and connected devices. For more visit the ESPN+ Press Kit.

About TMRW Sports Group: (pronounced “tomorrow sports”)

Founded by Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and sports executive Mike McCarley, TMRW Sports is focused on harnessing technology to build progressive approaches in sports, media, and entertainment that inspire the modern sports fan to create deeper connections with technology and culture. TMRW Sports’ first project, TGL presented by SoFi, is a new team golf league launched in partnership with the PGA TOUR. TMRW Sports is supported by an all-star roster of athletes, celebrities, and business leaders from the worlds of sports, media, technology, and finance who make up a powerful and diverse investor group. TMRW Sports joins Woods’ TGR Ventures and McIlroy’s Symphony Ventures, and is led by McCarley, founder and CEO. For more, visit TMRWSportsGroup.com.

TGL Media Contacts:

David Schaefer

SVP, Communications – Business

[email protected]

+46702877637 (mobile and WhatsApp)

407-429-8402 (U.S. mobile)

Adam Freifeld

Senior Communications Consultant

[email protected]

917-597-7762

ESPN Media Contacts

Andy Hall

Director, Communications

[email protected]

386-492-2246

Andy Hall

My main responsibility is PR/Communications for ESPN’s news platforms including the Enterprise/Investigative Unit, the E60 program and SportsCenter. In addition, I’m the PR contact for ESPN’s Formula 1 coverage, golf majors (the Masters and PGA Championship) and TGL golf. I’m based in Daytona Beach, Fla., and have been with ESPN since 2006.
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