Eight PDGA Elite Series events added to DGN slate
December 15, 2020 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with comments
The Disc Golf Pro Tour’s over-the-top livestreaming video subscription service Disc Golf Network (DGN) is significantly expanding its coverage in 2021.
The Professional Disc Golf Association and DGPT have come to terms on an agreement that will bring DGN coverage to the 2021 Pro World Championships, US Women’s Disc Golf Championships, and all six PDGA National Tour stops.
“We certainly see the PDGA as our most critical partner,” said DGPT CEO Jeff Spring. “For the Disc Golf Network to bring live coverage to the PDGA, we think this is going to be a great way to bring additional value to the National Tour events.”
Historically, few NTs have been livestreamed, as many of the Tour’s stalwart courses have limited or no cellular reception, which precludes streaming without expensive uplink solutions. DGN hopes to be able to cover all six tournaments live, but Masters Cup and Beaver State Fling, particularly, could prove to have too little cell service for 18 holes of livestreaming.
“Even the ones that they will not be able to provide live coverage for, they will be there producing content for the Disc Golf Network — interviews, studio shows, sort of like what they did at [USDGC] in the fall,” said PDGA Media Specialist Matt Rothstein.
Of the two majors planned to appear on DGN, the Pro World Championships have had live coverage on Smashboxx, who are now producing Elite Series live broadcasts exclusively on DGN for the next three years, in three of the last four years. The US Women’s Disc Golf Championships have never before had full-featured live coverage.
As with the DGN’s coverage of DGPT events, early rounds will air live only for subscribers with final round action available for free live on YouTube. DGN is now set to air more than 20 live events in 2021, with the possibility of additional coverage of the DGPT’s Silver Series tournaments’ final rounds. “Within the PDGA, we tended to treat Disc Golf Network and the Disc Golf Pro Tour as the same,” said Rothstein. “But now there’s more of a willingness to view DGN as an independent media producer.”
The DGPT is not paying the PDGA for broadcast rights, but the PDGA will get a “substantial” advertising block on DGN in the agreement.
“The deal itself was pretty straightforward: they needed more events to cover, they want to expand their offerings for their subscribers,” said Rothstein.
“If we had the resources and events, we’d love to provide live coverage of disc golf every weekend,” Spring said.
The live coverage of the PDGA’s tournaments will co-exist with post-production coverage of the events. The NT media plan is finalized, but conversations about the Majors are ongoing. The PDGA confirmed with its existing post-production partners (all rolled over from the 2020 plans) that they would be comfortable with live coverage. “That was especially an important conversation with Jomez [Productions],” said Rothstein. “They didn’t show any resistance at all. They’ll be there covering [MPO] lead card.”
The 2021 National Tour gets underway on March 26th for the Texas State Disc Golf Championships. The US Women’s Disc Golf Championship is set for May 21-23 just outside of Sacramento, California. The Pro World Championships are scheduled for June 22-26 in Ogden, Utah.