The MatchDecember 26, 2018

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson to bring back "The Match" for 2019, 2020 after two golfers sign three-year deal

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson
Harry How

It looks like The Match will return in 2019. And probably 2020.

Bank on it.

Were the subscription numbers for golf's first pay-per-view program that good? Neither Turner nor its parent WarnerMedia have released official figures, but knowledgeable sources told Golf World that the $9 million showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson on Nov. 23 in Las Vegas drew nearly one million customers who paid the $19.95 fee.

Painfully, Turner immediately had to refund all those subscriptions. Technical glitches prevented would-be viewers from buying in to the live stream, and, thus, forcing Turner to remove its pay wall both on television and online and offer the match for free. Those who paid got their money back. Fortunately, the financial damage was somewhat mitigated by Capital One's title sponsorship and a handful of other backers.

Interestingly, however, the pay-per-view count wasn't quite as integral to the immediate future of the enterprise as first reported—unless, of course, it turned out to be a total washout. Which it wasn't. It turns out that Turner signed a three-year deal with the joint Woods and Mickelson business entity, Golf World has learned.

That doesn't mean we'll see a rematch of the affair that Mickelson won on the 22nd hole in the dark on a makeshift par-3 hole. But to keep both involved, a team showdown is "almost a certainty," said one confidant of the two men. The conventional thought is that they pair together against two challengers. But another option apparently is that they remain on opposite sides and each chooses his own teammate.

Regardless of the format, every indication is that the show will go on.

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