After struggling to secure a broadcast deal, the controversial LIV Golf has reached a deal to broadcast on the CW Network.
- LIV Golf has officially reached a multiyear deal to broadcast all events on the CW Network owned by Nexstar Media Group.
- The first event, in Mexico, is scheduled to broadcast on CW from February 24 to February 26.
- Although LIV Golf was well-financed by the Public Invest Fund of Saudi Arabia, it had difficulty competing with the PGA Tour without a broadcast deal.
- This deal will allow LIV to reach a broader audience and possibly rope more professional golfers from the PGA.
Why it’s news
LIV Golf had a little bit of everything in its first season, hosting extravagant events and bringing in top players from the PGA, but the one element the controversial league was missing—a broadcast deal.
The league struggled to find a deal as most broadcasts were already linked to the PGA Tour, forcing the fledgling league to broadcast for free on YouTube and other platforms. Those days are over as LIV has officially secured a multiyear broadcast deal with the CW Network.
CBS, NBC, and ESPN already had deals with the PGA Tour, leading them to turn down any partnerships with LIV. The new league attempted to score deals with Amazon and Apple, but was turned down before getting the CW deal.
The official details of the contract have not been released, but LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman says it “will provide accessibility for our fans and maximum exposure for our athletes and partners.”
LIV Golf is backed by the Public Invest Fund of Saudi Arabia, giving it a big boost of money, but since its launch, the fund has given LIV at least $2 billion, and this new broadcast deal will ensure more money for the league.
Although it has locked in the broadcast deal, LIV has struggled in other areas of sponsorships due to its ties with Saudi Arabia. CW Network President Dennis Miller said that the deal with LIV is a “significant milestone in our goal to re-engineer the network.”
The LIV Golf Timeline
June 6 – The first player to defect from the PGA to join LIV was Phil Mickelson. He was reportedly offered $200 million to jump to the new tour, a big number considering he only made $94 million in his career with the PGA.
June 7 – The weekend’s winner and former number-one golfer in the world, Dustin Johnson, jumped on—signing a four-year contract with LIV reportedly worth $125 million. Other big names followed immediately… Sergio Garcia, Talor Gooch, Louis Oosthuizen, Kevin Na, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Abraham Ancer, Matthew Wolff, Paul Casey, and Henrik Stenson.
July 22 – Then LIV secured someone who wasn’t there to swing clubs. Highly popular golf commentator David Feherty joined the action. Shortly after, the league snatched two-time Masters champion, Bubba Watson.
August 1 – LIV tried to obtain golf legend Tiger Woods, but he declined. LIV CEO Greg Norman said Woods turned down a nearly $800-million deal.
Woods voiced his distaste for the players leaving the PGA. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position,” he said.
August 3 – Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and nine other LIV golfers filed an anti-trust complaint against the PGA Tour. The lawsuit comes after the players were suspended from the PGA Tour over their involvement with the fledgling tour. The golfers were denied by a judge, giving LIV its first defeat.
August 24 – PGA announces new changes that will go into effect in the 2023 season. New structural changes include ranking “top players,” more players and money for the Player Impact Program, and a set number of tournaments. “I laugh at what the PGA Tour players have come up with,” says golfer Lee Westwood, who was suspended from the PGA circuit when he signed on with LIV. “It’s just a copy of what LIV is doing.”August 30 – Most recently, LIV snagged the number two golfer. Cameron Smith left the PGA. Smith is the highest-ranked player to leave the PGA for LIV thus far—after winning The Open Championship in July, the Australian refused to confirm or deny whether he was jumping ship.