Marking the latest significant development in the virtual golf league co-founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, TGL is closing in on a major media rights pact with ESPN, sources confirmed to Front Office Sports.
The developing pact will give the upstart TGL sizable consumer reach given ESPN’s dominant status on the sports media landscape. It is not yet immediately clear whether the competition will be shown on linear or digital platforms, or both.
An announcement is expected in the coming weeks, in advance of TGL’s planned season starting in January, but an agreement is not yet signed.
Majority owned by Woods and McIlroy through a shared investment vehicle, TMRW Sports, the tech-infused TGL will operate in partnership with the PGA Tour and feature competition on simulated courses in an arena-style environment.
TGL continues to bring in major star power to its ownership ranks with recent additions including New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Atlanta Falcons and United owner Arthur Blank, Fenway Sports Group, and the pairing of tennis superstar Serena Williams and husband and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
ESPN and parent company Disney, meanwhile, remain in the throes of significant transition of their own, including a recalibrating cable bundle and ongoing efforts to potentially bring outside investors for the sports media giant and perhaps sell ABC and its other linear networks.