In the first marquee example of the former Time Warner properties’ integration into AT&T, WarnerMedia said it plans a synergistic effort centered on an 18-hole golf match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
The company has secured worldwide media distribution rights to what is being billed as “The Match,” a showdown between two players who have been longtime rivals with a combined 19 major championships. The action over Thanksgiving weekend will be hosted by MGM Resorts at Shadow Creek, a golf course in Las Vegas. The winner will take home $9 million.
Pay-per-view coverage — at rates not yet revealed — will be available through DirecTV, U-verse and Turner’s nascent streaming platform named for its Bleacher Report digital brand, B/R Live. Turner International will handle pay-per-view sales outside the U.S. Related programming about the lead-up to the match is planned on HBO and TNT, with Bleacher Report providing highlights on social media.
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Woods has enjoyed a resurgence in 2018 after facing doubts about ever being able to play again due to severe back problems. His runner-up finish in this month’s PGA Championship featured his lowest closing-round score, a 64. Mickelson has not been in peak form of late (and both players are well into the back-nines of their respective runs) but has shown occasional signs of greatness.
Turner president David Levy called the players’ rivalry “one of the most compelling in sports.” On a corporate level, he said, the event “provides a great opportunity to show fans the benefits of AT&T and WarnerMedia coming together. For the first time since AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia), Turner, DirecTV and HBO will present a multi-faceted presentation of the live event and accompanying content across a vast array of platforms.”
The deal with Turner was negotiated by CAA Sports, Excel Sports and Lagardere Sports.
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