Golf

Irish Golf Fans May Soon Have Nowhere To Watch The PGA Tour

Irish Golf Fans May Soon Have Nowhere To Watch The PGA Tour

Golf fans in the Republic of Ireland could be set for yet another set back as Sky Sports run the risk of losing their televised coverage for the PGA Tour.

The long-term broadcaster of the event in this part of the world, the Telegraph has reported that Sky Sports are running the risk of falling victim to an attempt on behalf of the American event to shift focus toward an "international on-demand streaming service next year."

GOLFTV, promising 2,000 hours of live golf action, will be viewers' one-stop-shop for main events like the Players Championship and FedEx Cup play-offs in the coming years. Overall, it will offer around 150 live events for subscribers.

Such a move comes after golfing fans in Ireland - like those across the world - were left without a television channel to watch this year's USPGA Championship; a major resigned exclusively to the streaming service, Eleven Sports.

In theory, the advent of GOLF TV should allay concerns for fans of the sport. However, according to Varietythere does not appear to be a release date for when this service will be available to viewers in Ireland.

GOLFTV will replace the PGA Tour Live streaming service in international markets. The coverage of live events will hit Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and Spain in 2019.

Poland and South Korea will follow in 2020, and Belgium, China, Germany and South Africa in 2021. In 2022, GOLFTV will launch in Britain, Denmark, Finland, India, Norway and Sweden. France will launch in 2024.

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Perhaps just an indication of the relatively small market share Ireland offer in such circumstances, while there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding what may yet happen in terms of coverage, it is unlikely that viewers in Ireland will be left entirely without a place to watch the majority of the PGA Tour event.

Fears that Sky Sports will lose their rights to the coverage may yet prove to be in vain, however.

With rights secured up until 2022, the broadcaster could potentially bid for the sub-licence. Should this not be a feasible solution, though, Sky Sports Golf could become a significantly quieter channel a few years from now.

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Arthur James O'Dea

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