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LIV Golf inks multi-year deal with The CW Network as Saudi-backed league lands first U.S. TV deal

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LIV Golf has signed a multi-year deal with The CW Network to broadcast its tournaments starting in the 2023 season. All 14 events will be broadcast on The CW, with the first round (Friday) on its app, and the second and third rounds (Saturday and Sunday) on both traditional broadcast TV and the app.

“This is a significant day for LIV Golf as this partnership is about more than just media rights,” said LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman. “The CW will ensure accessibility for our fans and maximum accessibility for our athletes and partners as their reach includes over 120 million households across the United States.

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“We’re very proud of how important it is that a league that’s only been in existence for one year has a full broadcast deal in its debut full league season,” continued Norman. “The CW and its majority owner, Nexstar Media Group, recognize the great interest and potential of our league, and with their support, more fans will be able to experience the energy and groundbreaking competition that LIV Golf is using to revive the sport. The CW is a world-class media partner and we are honored to join forces to bring LIV Golf even more to life as they bet on professional sports.”

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LIV Golf was on different networks in different countries for most of its short existence — for example, on Viaplay in Finaland, Eleven in Luxembourg and Mola TV in Singapore — but it has always viewed a TV deal in the United States as an important part of its future growth. It’s no secret that the holy grail of programming in this era is live sports, and The CW has got its hands on live sports featuring some of the game’s greatest champions, including Phil Mickelson, Brooks Kepka, and Dustin Johnson.

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“Our new partnership between The CW and LIV Golf will attract a whole new audience and add growing interest to the league around the world,” said CW President Dennis Miller. “Through the CW’s broadcasts and streams, more fans across the country and around the world can tap into the energy of LIV Golf and experience its innovative competition that has redefined the sport for players, fans and the game of golf. For The CW, our partnership with LIV Golf marks a major milestone in our goal of reshaping the network with quality, diverse programming for our viewers, advertisers and CW affiliates. It also marks the first time in the CW’s 17-year history that the network is the exclusive broadcast home. for live sports broadcasts.

LIV will share the proceeds with The CW and continue to produce its own content. according to ESPN, which is no different from what was done last year on YouTube. The good news for LIV is that she won’t be paying the CW for a TV spot; Golf Week reported Last fall, LIV almost closed a deal with Fox Sports that would see LIV pay for airtime. The good news for The CW is that they have live streaming without having to pay. Sports rights are astronomical, and no matter how you feel about LIV, it’s still live sports.

This year’s LIV Golf season starts February 24-26 at Mayakob at El Camaleon Golf Course, which previously hosted the PGA Tour event. After that, the LIV will travel to Australia, Singapore, Tulsa, Spain and West Virginia, with several other events yet to be named.

What does it mean

LIV’s goal since its inception in early 2022 has been to be on traditional television, especially in the United States. The reason for this desire is twofold. It would be extremely difficult for LIV to attract sponsors if it distributes its own content on YouTube due to its ties to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the fact that it is funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. For many large advertisers, this is not a start. Now LIV is just a smaller part of a larger network. Brands and companies won’t be so shy because LIV will be just one piece of a larger promotional purchase.

The second reason is perception. Every LIV event last year was streamed on YouTube, and the numbers weren’t impressive. Only two final rounds averaging over 100,000 viewers. We could go deeper into why this is so, but we’ll save that for another timeor platform). The bottom line is that it was a tough scene for LIV. Although LIV reduces potential reach, it can increase it valid numbers because the way traditional TV numbers are measured is often not as accurate as a platform like YouTube.

Or perhaps the actual numbers won’t increase. This remains to be seen. LIV is certainly celebrating this momentous day as it nears the dawn of its second season, but in the long run, I’m not sure adding live golf to the CW app is the best way to disrupt this (or any) industry.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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