Sky Sports' PGA Tour future in jeopardy

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Discovery and the PGA Tour say that they will not abandon Sky Sports despite signing a $2 billion (about £1.5 billion) deal to create a global home for golf.

The deal is worth $2 billion over its 12-year running time.

Discovery will distribute tour events on its regular TV channels and a new streaming service.

It will kick off next year and cover TV and online rights to the US -based men's golf circuit, which includes more than 140 tournaments a year.

The deal, which gives Discovery online and TV rights, will give it access to more than 140 golf tournaments a year including around 40 high-profile PGA Tour events. The partners also said they would develop a PGA Tour-branded OTT video streaming service "to engage global golf fans across every mobile screen and device in 220 markets and territories". The deal excludes the USA, where the tour runs on CBS and NBC.

As with the Olympics, Discovery will sub-license the PGA golf rights in some territories.

The PGA Tour announced the plans on Monday, which will see Discovery - the American broadcaster that also controls Eurosport - take command of all media operations outside the US.

Discovery is betting on the global appeal of the PGA Tour whose 85 players come from 25 countries.

The company will start investing in 2019, it said.

Discovery will create a new PGA Tour-branded OTT video streaming service to attract worldwide golf fans across all screens in 220 markets and territories, the programming giant said.

David Zaslav, president and chief executive of Discovery, said: "Today is a fantastic day for golf fans around the world as Discovery proudly partners with the PGA Tour to create something that has never been done before".

Discovery, who also owns Eurosport, made a long-term deal in 2015 with the International Olympic Committee for exclusive rights to Olympic content in Europe. Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, added: "This is an exciting next step for the PGA Tour, which presents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate and expand our media business outside the United States, better service our worldwide broadcast partners, and drive fan growth with a deeply experienced strategic global partner".

The investment - paid out over the course of the partnership - will also fund the creation of a new OTT video platform for global golf fans that will serve 220 markets and territories worldwide, excluding the U.S., set to launch January 1, 2019.