The richest prize on the professional golf calendar will be up for grabs when the 2020 Players Championship tees off on Thursday, March 10, 2020. And, for the first time, golf lovers can watch every shot by every player in real time.
The 2020 Players Championship will have a total prize fund of $15 million — a substantial step up from last year’s pot of $12.5 million, with the winner taking home a cool $2.7 million. The tournament, often considered the unofficial fifth major championship, is played every year at the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
The event took place for the first time in 1974 and has been contested 46 times since, of which 38 have taken place at the current location.
The Players Championship is probably best known for its iconic 17th hole, the par-three Island Green, which captures viewers’ attention due to the difficulty of landing the tee shot on a small landing zone surrounded by water.
Only six players have won the tournament more than once. The legendary Jack Nicklaus leads the way with three titles in 1974, 1976 and 1978, but he never won an event at the current venue. Nicklaus is followed by two-time winners Fred Couples (1984 and 1996), Steve Elkington (1991 and 1997), Davis Love III (1992 and 2003), Hal Sutton (1983 and 2000) and Tiger Woods (2001 and 2013). No player has ever successfully defended a title at The Players Championship.
Eight former winners are expected to participate in this year’s event. These include last year’s champion Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson, Kim Si-Woo and Tiger Woods, who would equal Nicklaus’ record with another success. They are likely to be joined by fellow former winners Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson.
The 2020 Players Championship will feature 144 golfers, chosen on the following criteria:
- Winners of all PGA Tour events since the 2019 Players Championship
- The top 125 players from the 2019 FedEx Cup points list
- The top 10 players in the 2020 FedEx Cup points list
- All major champions from the past five seasons
- The winners of the Players Championship in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
- The winners of The Tour Championship, World Golf Championship, Memorial Tournament and Arnold Palmer Invitational events over the last three seasons
- The Top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking
- The 2019 Senior Players champion
- The 2019 Korn Ferry Tour money leader
- The money leader of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals
Channels showing the 2020 Players Championship
- Golf Channel
Live TV coverage will be split between the Golf Channel, owned by the NBC Sports Group, and NBC. The Golf Channel will be the place to tune in for coverage of the tournament’s first two days, with live coverage between 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT and 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13.
Weekend coverage switches to NBC, which will broadcast live between 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT and 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT on Saturday, March 14. NBC will also televise the competition’s final day on Sunday, March 15.
Where are these channels available?
As a terrestrial network, NBC is available as a local channel on most cable TV packages. The Golf Channel is also commonly available via cable TV services and IPTV providers like AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS. The following streaming services have access to NBC and the Golf Channel: YouTube TV, fubo and Hulu + Live TV.
How watching on cable compares to streaming
Live streaming TV is on the rise. There are several options out there that provide access to the same channels available with a cable subscription via a smart TV, game console, media stick or mobile device app — often for a fraction of the price. As a result, cable subscription cancellations increased by 32.8% in 2018 with U.S. viewers saving around $104/mo., according to MarketScale data.
Most streaming services also offer recording services, also known as Cloud DVRs. YouTube TV is probably the best out there, offering unlimited storage for up to nine months. Cord cutters can also watch multiple shows at the same time, with Sling TV’s Blue + Orange package offering four simultaneous streams and YouTube TV providing three.
How to stream the 2020 Players Championship
The PGA Tour, NBC and Amazon Prime Video have banded together to provide live streaming coverage of the entire event. Around 120 cameras will be positioned around the course, ensuring that every group of golfers will have its own dedicated stream. Viewers will be able to watch more than 32,000 shots across the 72 holes of the tournament. This coverage will be streamed live on NBC Sports Gold and Amazon Prime Video channels.
Here are all the options available for streaming the 2020 Players Championship:
- Amazon Prime Video – Subscribers can watch every shot of the 2020 Players Championship by subscribing to PGA Tour Live through the Amazon Prime Video Channels platform. The add-on service costs $9.99/mo. or $64.99/season.
- AT&T TV – The service has two packages featuring the Golf Channel and NBC: XTRA ($74.99/mo.) and ULTIMATE ($84.99/mo.). Requires a two-year contract, and price increases in second year.
- AT&T TV Now – The Golf Channel and NBC are included in the service’s MAX ($80/mo.) and ULTIMATE ($135) packages.
- fuboTV – fuboTV’s base plan ($54.99) has both the Golf Channel and NBC. NBC coverage through the streamer can depend on location, so check local coverage first.
- Golf Channel – The Golf Channel will stream coverage of the first two days of the 2020 Players Championship on its website GolfChannel.com and on mobile apps for Android and iOS. This is accessible by subscribing to a GolfPass for $99/yr. or GolfPass+ for $199/yr.
- Hulu + Live TV – Hulu’s live TV streaming service provides access to both the Golf Channel and NBC. Hulu + Live TV’s ad-supported package costs $54.99/mo.
- NBC – NBC will live stream its weekend coverage on its website and mobile apps.
- NBC Sports Gold – Golf fans can watch every shot of the 2020 Players Championship by subscribing to the PGA Tour Live pass on NBC Sports Gold. The service costs $9.99/mo. or $64.99/season.
- Sling TV – Sling TV will only have weekend coverage. NBC is available through the Sling Blue ($30/mo.) and Sling Orange + Blue ($45/mo.) NBC is only available in select markets, and Sling TV does not carry the Golf Channel.
- YouTube TV – YouTube TV ($49.99/mo.) provides access to both the Golf Channel and NBC.
Can you watch the 2020 Players Championship for free?
Most streaming services have free trials available for golf fans to take advantage of to catch all the action from the 2020 Players Championship without paying a dime. Furthermore, all the weekend action can be viewed on NBC through an HD TV antenna, which enables viewers to pick up over-the-air broadcast channels. You can also access NBC for free through the streaming service Locast in some markets.
The bottom line
The 2020 Players’ Championship will be a special event not only for its participants (all of whom will take home a share of its record $15 million prize) but also for viewers. For the first time, golf lovers can enjoy every single shot of this iconic tournament thanks to the new Amazon Prime Video, PGA Tour and NBC agreement. Live broadcasts will also be highly accessible through cable TV services, over-the-air broadcasts and a wide range of live streaming providers.