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Discovery bolsters golf streaming service with Ladies European Tour deal

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Discovery bolsters golf streaming service with Ladies European Tour deal

Continuing to roll up content for its international streaming golf service that tees off next month, Discovery Inc. reached an extensive rights deal with the Ladies European Tour, a professional golf tour for women.

The multiyear, multiplatform deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, gives Discovery rights to all Ladies European Tour events, starting in 2019, as well as next year's and the 2021 Solheim Cups, in 25 nations, including Finland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. The pact bolsters the portfolio for the subscription streaming service Golf TV.

Under the agreement, Discovery also has the right to sublicense the Ladies European Tour TV and digital coverage as part of a broader strategy to grow viewership of the Ladies European Tour.

The agreement with the distaff tour follows last week's European Tour deal, which will include 40 live tournaments in 2019 and the rights to future Ryder Cups, and the $2 billion, 12-year rights deal Discovery drove with the PGA Tour in June.

Direct-to-consumer offering GolfTV is set to launch January in international markets outside the U.S., South Korea and China, with the latter two coming on board in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

The streaming service will feature localized content around players, courses and events in attendant countries, as well as on-demand fare and access to highlights upon conclusion of events from the three tour circuits. GolfTV reached a deal with golf icon Tiger Woods for practice tips, instructional videos and access to the winner of 14 major titles before and after tourneys.

While live Ladies European Tour events will be available in all 25 nations in 2019, event coverage from the PGA and European Tours will air live on the streaming service, as current rights deals expire in the attendant territories.

For instance, GolfTV will offer 2,000 hours of live coverage from all six tours operating under the PGA Tour umbrella, including some 150 tournaments annually, in Australia, Belgium (Flemish), Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

Live PGA Tour action then will become accessible to GolfTV subscribers in Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Latin America, Poland, South Korea and Thailand in 2020, before becoming available in other nations through 2024.