As soon as reported to be on the middle of a community bidding struggle, LIV Golf has introduced that’s now returning stay occasions to YouTube, the place the PGA Tour’s Saudi-backed rival started in 2022 earlier than reaching a multi-year revenue-sharing take care of the CW Network again in January.
That CW deal stays in impact, in response to Golf Month-to-month, however the tour will now additionally air tournaments on YouTube, starting with this week’s DC occasion at Trump Nationwide Golf Membership in Virginia.
Curiously, viewers within the US, Canada, Mexico and South Korea might want to pay $3 per day to see the event on YouTube, reportedly in order that LIV Golf can defend present broadcast and streaming offers.
Followers also can watch at no cost on the LIV Golf Plus app, however the numerous viewing preparations are a far cry from the large TV rights deal CEO Greg Norman envisioned solely months earlier.
In September, Norman instructed ESPN that LIV Golf was receiving an ‘monumental’ quantity of interest from networks.
Patrick Reed hits his tee shot on the ninth gap in the course of the Professional-Am event in Washington
Regardless of its alliance with former President Donald Trump, LIV Golf has struggled to draw followers
Brooks Koepka of Smash GC is pictured as he arrives on the clubhouse in Virginia
‘We’re speaking to 4 completely different networks — and stay conversations the place presents are being placed on the desk,’ he mentioned. ‘As a result of [the networks] can see the worth of our product, they will see what we’re delivering.’
Nevertheless, CW’s rankings for LIV Golf occasions have been depressing, dropping 24 % week-over-week till solely 409,000 viewers watched a March event in Tucson, in response to Golf.com.
Now, LIV Golf is not reporting viewer information after claiming that Nielsen’s viewers measurements are inaccurate.
Regardless of LIV Golf’s struggles, the fledgling circuit stays a significant subject on the PGA Tour, partly, as a result of LIV Golf participant Brooks Koepka lately received the PGA Championship.
However even with the presence of fan favorites like Koepka, Phil Mickelson, and Bryson DeChambeau, to not point out occasional appearances by former President Donald Trump, LIV Golf continues to battle to draw followers.
For comparability, LIV Golf attracted 40,000 followers to an occasion in Tulsa because the PGA Tour hosted 150,000 at an occasion in Dallas, in response to Pomp Funding’s Joe Pompliano.
LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman has struggled to achieve a following in 2023
LIV Golf’s Chief Media Officer Will Staeger mentioned the upstart tour can increase its profile by returning to YouTube.
‘Increasing the supply of LIV Golf’s stay protection on YouTube marks one other milestone within the modern methods by which we’re making our groundbreaking competitors accessible to viewers,’ Staeger mentioned. ‘LIV Golf is a worldwide league comprised of a number of the recreation’s largest stars, and this helps our aim of bringing the game we like to extra folks in additional locations all over the world.’
Golfweek Journal reported final 12 months that LIV got here near an settlement with Fox Sports activities about shopping for airtime, six years after the community parted methods with Norman, a former PGA star.
Regardless of the efforts of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to dealer a deal between each events, no settlement may very well be made.
Western media retailers and golf commentators have repeatedly slammed the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour for its corruption and human rights abuses and for its efforts to enhance its worldwide repute picture by way of sports activities.
Final 12 months, in August, David Feherty admitted in an interview with the Toledo Blade, that the principle cause behind his change from NBC Sports activities to LIV was cash, regardless of being an worker of the American TV community for seven years.
Trump takes photos along with his son Eric as they take part within the Professional-Am event
‘I hear, ”Nicely, it grows the sport.” Bulls***,’ the 64-year-old Northern Irishman mentioned. ‘They paid me some huge cash.’
The tour can be concerned in a authorized battle with the PGA Tour for interfering with its contracts with gamers. Whereas the PGA is being accused of violating antitrust legal guidelines by banning LIV gamers from its tour, golf’s preeminent circuit countersued its Saudi-backed rivals, accusing the outfit of interfering with its offers.
Gamers who’ve defected to LIV Golf have been banned at PGA occasions, however they will nonetheless play on the majors, offered they meet qualifying standards.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the fund that funds LIV Golf, have been additionally named within the lawsuit in October.