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Tiger Woods’ New TGL Could Be ‘Monday Night Football’ For Golf

  • TV networks are already eyeing potential media rights.
  • Virtual TGL plans 15 Monday Night matches starting in 2024.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sports TV networks are already eyeing Tiger Woods’ and Rory McIlroy’s new tech-infused TGL golf league as the TV magnet that can finally draw young viewers to golf.

There’s an insatiable demand for live sports rights. Woods is the No. 1 TV draw in golf. The idea of showcasing him, McIlroy and other golf superstars on virtual courses, at intimate NBA-like arenas, is already inspiring TV executives. 

Throw in the primetime TV setting, and TGL’s 15 Monday night matches could do for the staid sport of golf what ABC’s “Monday Night Football” did for the NFL over 50 years ago. 

“As the saying goes, Tiger doesn’t move the TV needle. He is the needle,” said one TV executive. “The calls are already flying.”

Added LeslieAnne Wade of White Tee Partners Golf consultancy: “PGA Tour partners will definitely show interest in any event which boosts interest and adds value to the PGA Tour.”

But Woods, McIlroy and Mike McCarley’s new TMRW Sports Group might only consider select TV partners for the new league, which tees off in January, 2024. Here’s why:

  • Woods and McIlroy made it clear they’re launching TGL in partnership with the PGA Tour, which means it’s likely only the Tour’s current TV partners will get a shot at the 15 Monday Night events.
  • CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and ESPN currently split coverage of Tour events, while NBC’s Golf Channel provides day-to-day news and some event coverage.
  • McCarley is a former NBC executive and Golf Channel president. With TV legend Dick Ebersol (McCarley’s long-time mentor) investing in TMRW, NBC could be the favorite. 

TGL Spells Trouble for LIV Golf

The addition of TGL to the global golf industry spells trouble for Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed LIV Golf

Like LIV, TGL will offer fans a team golf format, composed of six teams of three PGA Tour players apiece.

Like LIV,  TGL events will be faster and shorter, lasting only two hours. Like LIV, TGL will be competing for a U.S. media rights deal and ad dollars from sponsors next year.

No matter how much money LIV throws around, the new virtual league has the most valuable commodity of all: Woods, the 15-time major winner, who draws casual sports viewers like no other golfer.

As McIlroy said in the understatement of the year: “Oh, and by the way, Tiger Woods is involved. Yeah, I think it’ll be pretty cool.”

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