What are the chances of landing a television agreement that would bring a far larger audience than its current life on YouTube? This has been one of the most serious issues about LIV Golf’s long-term viability in its brief existence.
Even if it still leaves as many or more uncertainties about how it could all turn out in the end, we may be getting closer to an answer.
Golfweek said on Tuesday night that LIV Golf is close to an agreement in which it will buy airtime on American cable television for its events to show on Fox Sports 1. The claim cited many unnamed sources. LIV, which is supported by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, would thus acquire the time and then be in charge of selling its own advertising, in contrast to usual sports television partnerships in which the networks pay rights fees to telecast league or tour tournaments. Additionally, it would cover the broadcasts’ production costs.
Golfweek said that LIV requested a definite time slot and a rights fee in Year 2 of any arrangement, but Fox rejected both requests, citing a person familiar with the details of the discussions.
Golfweek said that it is unknown if the agreement will go into effect this year or in 2023, when LIV hopes to host a full schedule of 14 tournaments from February through September. Five tournaments have been hosted by the young circuit to date, and three more are slated for October in Bangkok, Thailand; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Trump Doral in Miami.
Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, stated to a nearby radio station in mid-September that “the interest coming across our plate [to broadcast LIV] right now is enormous” when making media appearances before to the LIV event outside of Chicago.
“We’re talking to four different networks,” Norman continued. “And live conversations where offers are being put on the table. Because [the networks] can see the value of our product, they can see what we’re delivering in the four-and-a-half-hour window.”
The Golfweek story was deemed “incomplete and inaccurate” by LIV Golf, according to a statement they sent late on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
“As we have stated previously, LIV Golf is just beginning its process and is in active discussions with several companies about broadcasting the LIV Golf League,” LIV Golf told the AP. “We caution that no one should draw any conclusions about potential media rights given that we are still in the middle of negotiations with several outlets.”
Because of the media companies’ current affiliations with the PGA Tour, their lack of interest in golf, or their concerns about teaming up with a circuit that is controversial due to its ties to a Saudi Arabian kingdom with a history of human rights violations, LIV has in fact faced formidable obstacles from many of the top networks and streaming services.
Original article posted on Golfdigest.com
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