The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) has struck livestreaming deals with Twitter and online sports publisher GiveMeSport to expand the reach of the PGA Championship outside of traditional TV broadcasting.
The BBC won the race for live UK coverage of the US PGA Championship in July after the organiser opted not to renew a deal with Sky Sports in favour of a “multi-platform” alternative. But critics - chiefly R&A’s chief executive Martin Slumbers - have branded BBC’s golf coverage as “tired and outdated”.
To ensure the August championship reaches as many eyeballs as possible, BBC coverage will be supported by a digital distribution plan that includes live streaming on Twitter and GiveMeSport’s Facebook page.
Golf fans will be able to view a rolling feed of the championship via the BBC’s red button interactive and digital platforms. Live coverage also is available on BBC2 toward the end of each day, including the conclusion of the Championship on 13 August. BBC Radio5 live and sports extra will also broadcast live from the PGA Championship, led by Iain Carter and Jay Townsend.
To bring golf to a younger audience, the PGA has struck a deal with online publisher GiveMeSport. The publisher has 26 million Facebook followers, the bulk of which are aged between 18 to 34.
GiveMeSport’s Facebook page and website - which the publisher claims regularly attracts 750,000 golf fans in the UK - will broadcast live four-day coverage of the championship.
Jae Chafin, chief commercial officer of GiveMeSport, said: "We’re delighted to partner with the PGA to bring the 2017 championships to a new younger audience of sports fans in the UK. Live streaming the championship on GiveMeSport’s Facebook page means that fans will not miss a single moment of the action, wherever they are and whatever device they are using."
The partnership with Twitter will see the social media site broadcast live coverage of marquee groups on all four days in the UK, Ireland and Japan as well as world feed access on Twitter in Latin America and the Caribbean. These locations will also feature regularly updated highlight clips.
The partnerships mark the first time the PGA struck a live streaming deal with an online player.
Pete Bevacqua, chief executive officer of PGA of America, said: “By delivering this season’s final major to fans of all ages across BBC, Facebook and Twitter, we hope to serve the core golf audience and invite new fans to enjoy Major Championship golf across the platforms they frequent.”