LIV Golf scored another win, but this new signup will not be swinging clubs.
Highly popular golf commentator David Feherty has reportedly parted ways with NBC and is joining LIV Golf as a broadcast analyst. The Belfast Telegraph reported that the former Northern Ireland golf star is expected to be an analyst for the eight annual tournaments hosted by LIV Golf, a startup competitor to the existing tournament play.
Getting Feherty on board is a huge win for LIV Golf. It adds tremendous credibility to the fledgling tour for this broadcast veteran to give it his blessing. Plus, it provides bulk to LIV’s media efforts, which it will need to generate exposure and revenue going forward.
Feherty worked for CBS for two decades before signing a multimillion-dollar contract with its rival NBC in 2015. Feherty was a key member of NBC’s coverage of the British Open this past weekend.
Shortly after winning The Open Championship at St. Andrews, Scotland, Australian golfer Cameron Smith was asked if he had plans of signing on with LIV Golf. He replied, “I don’t know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”
LIV Golf is a well-financed startup tour trying to compete with the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association of America) Tour, which has organized the bulk of pro golf in the country for more than 100 years. LIV is backed by the Public Invest Fund, led by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Legendary Australian golf champion Greg Norman is CEO of LIV Golf.
The new LIV Tour has pulled many golfers away from the PGA Tour with promises of hefty checks—creating tremendous tension in the world of golf. For example, LIV will pay Phil Mickelson $200 million to play in the tour, which is nearly double what legend Tiger Woods has earned in prize money during his entire career. LIV gave the world’s number-one golfer Dustin Johnson a four-year, $125 million contract, double his lifetime earnings of $74 million.
Neither Feherty nor NBC has yet made public comments.