TGL founders Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy Jul 11, 2022; St. Andrews, SCT; Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy during the R&A Celebration of Champions four-hole challenge at the 150th Open Championship golf tournament at St. Andrews Old Course. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy-backed TGL is nearing a rights deal prior to its launch in 2024.

Per the Financial Times, ESPN and TGL are close to a rights agreement, though details have yet to be reported.

ESPN is close to finalising a deal on broadcast rights with the emerging golf league TGL, according to people familiar with the matter, giving the upstart pro league helmed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy a media partner as they prepare to launch next year.

Terms of the deal, including value and duration, have not yet been finalised, the people said, but are expected to be ironed out in the coming weeks. The first TGL season is expected to begin in January. It was not immediately clear how many of the TGL matches would be broadcast over ESPN’s cable networks or on its proprietary streaming platforms.

Golfweek previously reported that NBC Sports had an option to broadcast TGL events.

The formation of TGL was announced in August of 2022, with Woods and McIlroy partnering with the PGA Tour on the tech-infused, team-based league. The first TGL season, due to begin in January 2024, will include 15 regular season matches on Monday nights, leading into the semifinals and finals. It will feature six teams initially, with owners including Steve Cohen, Fenway Sports Group, Arthur Blank, and Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams.

In addition to McIlroy and Woods, ten other golfers announced their participation in TGL, including Rickie Fowler, Collin Morikawa, reigning Masters winner Jon Rahm, and Justin Thomas. Six more players will be added.

It remains to be seen how TGL events will be integrated with PGA Tour events. The 2024 season is due to begin in January with the Sentry in Maui, Hawaii.

It’s also unknown how the schedule will compete against LIV Golf, which hasn’t announced its 2024 schedule yet. In a preliminary schedule obtained by Sports Illustrated, the LIV season is scheduled to begin with an event in Mexico from February 2-4.

[Financial Times]

About Joe Lucia

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