Kiwi Lydia Ko's LPGA title defences to be broadcast live and free online

Fans of World No 1 Lydia Ko will be able to see her defend her five titles on the LPGA Tour for free next year.
SAM GREENWOOD/ GETTY

Fans of World No 1 Lydia Ko will be able to see her defend her five titles on the LPGA Tour for free next year.

New Zealand golf fans will be able to watch live and for free online as world No 1 Lydia Ko defends her five LPGA titles next year.

PGA Tour Live and World Golf Pass, which are run by Coliseum Sport Media (CSM), are expanding their access to increase the audience for golf in New Zealand and will broadcast Ko's defences as a teaser for their full service.

"We are really excited about that," said CSM CEO Tim Martin. "The format of our product suits that young audience because they can access it wherever, whenever they want. If you are a 15-year-old kid and you have a tablet or smart phone or access to a computer you can get it for free."

 CSM is in discussions with Sky Television about a partnership but that is unlikely to include live coverage of the LPGA or PGA tours, which will remain as premium content on the CSM platforms.

"Coliseum remains 100 per cent committed to PGA Tour Live in New Zealand as does the PGA Tour," said Martin. 

PGA Tour Live will continue as it did in 2015 for a minimum of the next two years.

"It is highly unlikely that the PGA Tour will be shown on Sky. That will remain a dedicated subscription product."

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CSM, who have a contract with the PGA Tour for two years and a further two years as a right of renewal, have rights to the European Tour, Asian Tour, Presidents Cup, Champions Tour, LPGA Tour and Web.com Tour.

"The key for us is retaining the really valuable content that drives subscriptions and the PGA Tour is certainly that," he said. 

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Martin said with regards to some of the other tours, they are open to discussions on sharing this content to get more golf out there. 

CSM would like to distribute the extra content that is not attracting a significant audience and that means "finding some new friends in the market".

That could be good news for fans of New Zealand's No 2 Ryan Fox and No 3 Josh Geary who are competing on the European Tour and Web.com Tour in 2016 respectively. 

Martin, who would not reveal subscription numbers, says that CSM has been on an interesting journey in its inaugural year of delivering online golf content. 

"The product itself is excellent. We are really happy with the quality and the depth and features on PGA Tour Live it is very strong. We are looking forward and we expect good growth in the second season."

 - Stuff.co.nz

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