Discovery Looks To Create "Golf Netflix" With Tiger Woods Pact
Discovery President & CEO David Zaslav said he hopes his company's exclusive video deal with Tiger Woods can "build a golf Netflix." Zaslav, speaking on CNBC this morning, feels the deal could see the new GolfTV platform, which launches in January, emerge with 2-10 million people “around the world that will pay to get golf." Zaslav said of Woods: "He gets the benefit of all of our Tour content, he gets the benefit of all of our editorial ... and he can help us craft that product. A lot of people will buy it for Tiger, but I think the product is going to be a lot better by having Tiger work with us on what people want to see.” Woods, who appeared via satellite from the Bahamas, said his efforts for Discovery will “be just wrapped into” his existing practice and competitive schedule. Woods said he may say things to fans on GolfTV that he would not say to a “media scrum,” because such comments would see him "get fined by the Tour.” Zaslav called the Woods deal the “cherry on top of our golf strategy.” He noted the company “really took a big pivot four or five years ago when we went from a traditional nonfiction company to asking ourselves, ‘How do we create content that people would want?’” Woods: "The part that intrigued me the most is that I will have the ability for the very first time to talk directly to my fans and answer their questions. ... So we're able to create far more content than any other golf magazine has ever been able to do, and it's on a global level" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 11/28).
VALUE PROPOSITION: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Micah Maidenburg reported Discovery "hasn’t announced the price of a subscription" to GolfTV, which will only be outside the U.S. at the outset. The deal with Woods is the venture’s "first announcement of additional content," and financial terms of the deal "weren’t disclosed." Discovery is "exploring how to distribute the Tiger Woods content in the U.S., either on its own or in partnership with another media company" (WSJ.com, 11/27). Zaslav said that Woods has completely bought into the idea -- sold, in part, by Discovery’s portfolio that includes Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel and Food Network. “One thing that we’ve figured out is that personalities are more powerful than brands,” Zaslav said. “We're a global IP company, and the epitome of great IP is content that people love -- that’s why we bought Food and HGTV.” Zaslav said he settled on Woods because of the golfer’s worldwide popularity. Zaslav described the content as something that can help draw younger fans to the sport (John Ourand, THE DAILY).
MR. WORLDWIDE: GOLF DIGEST's Sam Weinman noted Woods and his team have "traditionally treaded carefully with what the golfer shares with the public." But Discovery Golf President & GM Alex Kaplan said that Woods was "enthusiastic about partnering in the new venture, perhaps because it represented a new way to engage with a worldwide audience" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 11/27). USA TODAY's Adam Woodward noted 20 markets around the world "will be able to access" GolfTV next year. By '24, the reach "will expand to 43 markets" (USATODAY.com, 11/27).