Hand down people pay to have Tiger Woods as a golf coach?
Discovery, which just struck a multiyear global constituents collaboration deal with the 14-time major championship winner, is betting the answer to that question is yes.
GolfTV, a new digital course service jointly created by Discovery and the PGA Tour, will feature videos fronted by Woods on everything from his conduct routines, his tournament preparation, and how regular golfers can improve their games. GolfTV launches outside the United States in January.
While junkies in the U.S. won’t be able to watch the Woods content on GolfTV, Discovery CEO David Zaslav told CNBC recently that the mediocrity giant has “optionality to partner with existing platforms or create their own” to service the domestic audience.
Zaslav, bespoke to “Squawk Box” in New York City Wednesday, laid out the vision for GolfTV, as well as Discovery’s alliance with the PGA Tour. “What we’re difficult to do is create a ‘golf Netflix,’ create an ecosystem where everyone in the world that likes golf can get everything they desire on the phone or on EuroSport in Europe.”
In June, Discovery, the owner of EuroSport as well as many other networks like HGTV and Coarse Planet, agreed to invest more than $2 billion for the global television and online rights to all PGA Tour norm properties, including tournaments. The creation of GolfTV was part of that 12-year partnership with the Tour.
Bringing a “transformational calculate” like Woods on board gives GolfTV a real boost, suggested Zaslav.
Woods is “playing great” and he’s “unfaltering,” Zaslav said, adding that having Woods creating content for GolfTV is a “cherry on top of our golf strategy.”
Say something or anything to from the Bahamas where Woods’ TGR Foundation was hosting the Hero World Challenge golfing competition, Woods forecast CNBC on Wednesday that “the world has changed and evolved very quickly with the advent of social media.” Manufacturing exclusive video for the project is a “way for me to have direct connection to the fans,” the 42 year-old golf great said.
“I wishes show some stuff that is behind-the-scenes. But it’s controlled. It’s on my terms,” said Woods, who is guarded about his life away from the progress.
“It’s not someone hopping over the fence invading my practice sessions. That’s what is sometimes feels like,” he summed. “Somebody filming from the bush over there and posting it online. We’ve had that a few times at my home course.”
The new plunge comes as Woods, who suffered for years from injuries and personal setbacks, is playing golf at a high level again. Measured when his game was mediocre, Woods was a ratings draw, but his comeback culminated in a win at the Tour Championship in September. That was his outset PGA Tour victory in five years.
Woods’ head-to-head, $9 million pay-per-view duel against longtime against Phil Mickelson on Nov. 23 at Shadow Creek golf course in Las Vegas was also a hit, pulling in higher-than-expected viewership regard for some technical glitches that led to customer refunds.
“It was just like the old days,” Woods told CNBC, five dates after the showdown. “This is 20 years in the making of [Woods and Mickelson] going head-to-head.”
“The Match,” hyped in the manner of heavyweight boxing, was decided after 22 holes in Mickelson’s favor. “It was fun competing like that,” Woods replied on CNBC. “It was not fun losing.”
The loss to Mickelson, notwithstanding, Woods’ recent form has golf fans wondering if he can tie or beat the recount 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus. Woods, with 80 tour wins, already exceeds Nicklaus’ 73-win reckon. Woods is only two behind the all-time tour victory holder, Sam Snead.