Andy North: “We are really fired up about it”

A new era for PGA TOUR Live tees off in Maui this week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions as ESPN+ begins its new digital rights deal. The extended and expanded coverage more than triples the total coverage of the PGA TOUR – adding more than 3,200 new hours of live streaming available for a total of more than 4,300 exclusive hours. All PGA TOUR LIVE on ESPN+ coverage will be available to ESPN+’s more than 17.1 million subscribers. As the new team prepares to get underway with Thursday’s early Featured Group of Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Pga Tour site caught up with ESPN+ golf analyst and two-time US Open winner Andy North at the iconic island venue.

Andy North, statements

“We are really fired up about it. When the prospect of this deal started happening about a year ago everyone was excited. We have had a nice presence in the sport recently with the Masters, the PGA Championship, SportsCenter at the majors… that sort of thing, but to be back on the air regularly with PGA TOUR golf is cool. Gosh, we had a relationship with the TOUR for a gazillion years prior to all of this but now as we return with the ESPN+ side of things is a whole new world. What we are doing here is something like 4300 hours of televised golf – that’s just amazing. And I think you’re going to get to the point where you’re sitting at home and you want to watch a particular player, you’re going to be able to watch that player. This is the step heading into that direction. We have positioned ourselves well with the TOUR with this new contract as the fact is we’re going to reach a lot of eyes and a lot of new eyes. ESPN+ subscriptions are substantial, real numbers that are very exciting for the sport. I’m really excited for these opening two weeks in Hawaii and what we all have coming in the years ahead.

“I’m old school, I’m in my 70s and I still like to hold paper in my hands, but just look at what’s going to be at people’s fingertips on their devices. Four feeds to start out with once we get back to the mainland – a traditional main feed that brings things together like a broadcast my generation is familiar with but also a Featured Group, a Marquee group and Featured Holes. Even before talking about possible expansion down the line that means you can watch every player in the field at some point if you choose. And look, I’ve been slow to have things work on my phone or iPad but it’s the way the world is going and it’s a step in the right direction. It’s been fun to show some of my friends how it all works, especially showing them, they can watch TOUR golf on their phone, while they play golf themselves, they love it! And let’s be honest, the under 30 crowd, this is how they like to consume content. Not to mention, for these guys in their prime now, it is such an amazing time to be out here. The players will get more opportunity to showcase their talents and their personalities and their own personal brand if you will.

“We have a great group of guys who could easily jump up and have a great season. I think Jon Rahm is a superstar and that generational kind of player. Obviously so many others, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Bryson, Cantlay, Collin Morikawa, I’ve got to stop naming names because the list is so lengthy. The greatest part of it all is the larger group really care about our game and they have respect for those who came before them, they respect the history of the game but I do think Rahm has a great chance to separate himself”.

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