LIV Golf Set to Announce TV Deal With The CW Network?
LIV Golf will be paying the network to air its tournaments
A former NBC/Golf Channel broadcaster who defected to LIV Golf over the summer to call tournaments for the upstart circuit for “a lot of money,” David Feherty also moonlights as a comedian. During one of his routines last week, he joked with the crowd at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach that his Saudi-backed employer was close to signing a multi-year media rights deal with The CW Network, according to The Palm Beach Post. Since The CW has no other sports programming and is generally known for syndicated teen dramas and superhero shows, it was a decent joke.
Thing is, it appears Feherty wasn’t kidding around — but the details of the alleged deal are a bit humorous.
Instead of being paid by The CW, which is mostly owned by the Nexstar Media Group and boasts a programming lineup that is intended to appeal mainly to viewers between the ages of 18 and 34, to air its tournaments, LIV Golf will be paying the network to get its product in front of viewers, according to GOLF. Multiple sources also confirmed the pending deal to Sports Illustrated.
“Networks will spend close to $16 billion on the rights to the five major professional sports and golf in 2023, but the proposed structure of this agreement makes it unlikely that LIV will receive a comparable financial windfall from the CW to the PGA Tour’s broadcast agreements (which net some $600 million for the Tour annually), even if the agreement allows the league to earn a portion of advertising revenues,” per GOLF. “Still, the bottom line likely matters very little to LIV, which has acknowledged in recent months the importance of a true broadcast partner to its long-term efforts.”
In another interesting twist, Nexstar’s two minority partners in the CW, Warner Media (Discovery) and Paramount (CBS), are also broadcast partners of the PGA Tour. Even though the agreement is costing LIV Golf an unknown amount of cash, it’s hard to imagine the PGA Tour being overly thrilled about the new deal.
Currently on break, LIV Golf has its first event of the season scheduled for February 24-26 at El Camaleón Golf Course at Mayakoba. Previously only available via streaming on YouTube and the LIV Golf website, the rebel series will be available in 220 U.S. markets, many of which have a website and nightly newscast, if the deal goes down. As of now, only seven of the tour’s 14 events have been announced.
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