Saudi-funded LIV Golf has a tv accomplice 5 weeks earlier than the beginning of its second season, asserting Thursday it has an settlement with The CW to air tournaments on the weekend and stream the primary rounds on The CW’s app.
A U.S. tv deal was seen as important for the rival league, which final 12 months was accessible solely by way of streaming on its web site and on YouTube.
The following season of LIV Golf League, with an emphasis on the 12 four-man groups it hopes to create as franchises, begins Feb. 24-26 on the Gulf coast of Mexico at Mayakoba, which hosted a fall PGA Tour occasion.
“This can be a momentous day for LIV Golf as this partnership is about extra than simply media rights,” LIV CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman mentioned in a press release. “The CW will present accessibility for our followers and most publicity for our athletes and companions as their attain consists of greater than 120 million households throughout america.”
LIV Golf didn’t disclose particulars of the partnership, however a number of media shops have reported that The CW won’t pay for media rights to LIV Golf within the conventional sense, nor wouldn’t it purchase time on the community. As an alternative, the proposed settlement could be to share promoting income.
LIV additionally mentioned it could be producing the protection with its personal group.
The CW is the fifth-largest U.S. community and of these 5 has the second-youngest viewers primarily based on media age, trailing solely Fox.
The community dates to 2006 and was named after its founding co-owners (CBS and Warner Bros.). Nexstar Media Group acquired 75% of the community in October, with Paramount World and Warner Bros. Discovery sustaining minority possession.
NBC (and Golf Channel) and CBS have a nine-year rights take care of the PGA Tour, whereas ESPN received the fitting for its digital rights beneath the brand new contract, together with having weekday protection of the Masters and PGA Championship.
Of the main 4 networks, Fox doesn’t have golf. It had the USGA contract – Norman was its first lead analyst – till an association to promote that to NBC.
The CW is greatest recognized for syndicated programming, and hasn’t had sports activities programming.
“For The CW, our partnership with LIV Golf marks a major milestone in our aim to re-engineer the community with high quality, diversified programming for our viewers, advertisers and CW associates,” The CW President Dennis Miller mentioned. “This additionally marks the primary time in The CW’s 17-year historical past that the community is the unique broadcast house for reside mainstream sports activities.”
Norman touted a “full broadcast deal” for a league that solely started in June and now enters the debut season of its emphasis on group competitors.
Cash, nevertheless, doesn’t seem like a difficulty with LIV Golf, which has spent some $1 billion in signing main champions similar to Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia.
LIV Golf is the lead plaintiff in an antitrust lawsuit towards the PGA Tour. In line with arguments in a listening to final week in California, the Public Funding Fund of Saudi Arabia owns 93% of LIV Golf.
LIV Golf has 48 gamers that comprise the 12 groups. The competitors is over 54 holes with a shotgun begin and $25 million prize funds at every cease, with $5 million dedicated to group outcomes.
The league plans a 14-event schedule this 12 months, although solely eight stops have been introduced. Nonetheless be to be decided is what number of extra PGA Tour or European tour gamers be a part of the lead. LIV additionally awaits a solution from the Official World Golf Rating whether or not it is going to be included with different excursions world wide.