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Report: Jared Kushner pushed for LIV Golf media rights deal with Paramount

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LIV Golf seemingly has all the money they could ever need when it comes to offering contracts to players.

The Saudi-backed golf league has already reportedly given Dustin Johnson $125 million, Phil Mickelson $200 million, Bryson DeChambeau $100 million, and are now rumored to be giving Cameron Smith $110 million. They’ve also spent plenty on other players and give a tremendous amount of guaranteed money for each event.

While money can clearly buy talent, one important thing it’s yet to buy is a television contract for LIV Golf.

According to Sports Business Journal, former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner attempted to change that.

Shortly after the LIV Bedminster event, Kushner put in a phone call to some of the top executives at Paramount, which is a television network owned by CBS.

The source told Sports Business Journal that Kushner has no official position with LIV Golf but made “One phone call. Totally informal. It lasted a very short amount of time to make an introduction.”

Thus far, LIV Golf has been streaming on both YouTube and Facebook but hasn’t appeared on traditional television as of yet.

Donald Trump owns two of the golf courses that LIV is utilizing in their 2022 season, so it isn’t entirely surprising that his family would attempt to help the controversial golf series.

Kushner also has a previous connection with the Saudi’s who’ve funded LIV Golf. He owns a private equity firm called Affinity Partners which received a $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund; the same source that directly funds LIV Golf.

However, per Sports Business Journal’s source, Kushner “is not expected to make more outreach on behalf of LIV or play an ongoing role in future media discussions.”

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  1. Chuck

    Aug 18, 2022 at 7:38 am

    Prince Mohammed bin Salman… Greg Norman… Donald Trump… Phil Mickelson… Patrick Reed… David Feherty… Bryson DeChambeau… Brooks Koepka… Pat Perez… Jared Kushner…

    What could possibly go wrong?

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19th Hole

Why Phil Mickelson decided to drop out of lawsuit against PGA Tour

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Whatever the whys and wherefores, the disputes and disagreements, the one thing the LIV series has done is get people thinking.

Much water has crossed under the bridge and a recap could go on for many hours, but it remains that something somewhere caused the PGA Tour to look at a revised schedule.

Behind all this were a number of court cases, the first being 16 players fighting their cause against a DP World Tour ban, before 11 PGA Tour players sought temporary injunctions against the tour, seeking allowance into the FedEx Cup.

Since then,  Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz and Pat Perez have dropped out of the suit, the trial scheduled to commence in 2024, and now four more have fallen by the wayside.

Those four are Ian Poulter, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, and more vitally, Phil Mickelson.

The idea of a series challenging the golf status quo was always in the mind of Greg Norman and his backers, and Lefty was certainly the one player that launched the idea into orbit, after a revealing interview with golf writer Alan Shipnuck.

That now leaves just three of the original 11 – Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones and Peter Uihlein – who are still being backed by LIV Golf.

The organization released a recent statement, commenting:

“Nothing has changed,’” confirmed LIV. “The merits of the lawsuit—the PGA Tour’s anti-competitive conduct—still stand and will be fully tested in court, and we look forward to it.”

The statement confirmed the reasons why they believe they have a strong case.

“We stand by the players who the PGA Tour has treated so poorly, but we also recognize to be successful we no longer need a wide variety of players to be on the suit. We have our players’ backs and will press our case in court against the PGA’s anti-competitive behavior.”

Losing the bigger names might be a blow to the plaintiff’s case, and Mickelson’s comments were always going to be of interest.

Lefty explained the reasons for his withdrawal to Sports Illustrated:

“I am focused on moving forward and extremely happy being a part of LIV, while also grateful for my time on the (PGA) Tour. I am pleased that the players on Tour are finally being heard, respected and valued and are benefitting from the changes recently implemented.”

He summed up:

“With LIV’s involvement in these issues, the players’ rights will be protected and I no longer feel it is necessary for me to be part of the proceedings.”

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19th Hole

Patrick Reed includes three golf journalists in fresh defamation lawsuit

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Last month, Patrick Reed filed a defamation lawsuit against Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee. The suit has since been withdrawn, but the former Masters champion isn’t done yet.

Reed has just filed a new lawsuit against golf journalists Damon Hack, Shane Bacon and Eamon Lynch. In addition to the writers, the suit includes both PGA Tour and DP World Tour and their commissioners Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley.

The suit alleges that those mentioned are guilty of “conspiracy, defamation, injurious falsehood and tortious interference”.

The lawsuit is a whopping 96-pages long and it lists 42 “causes of action”. The causes of action include “a pattern and practice of defaming Mr. Reed”

“These malicious attacks have created hate, aided and abetted a hostile workplace environment, and have caused substantial financial and emotional damage and harm to Mr. Reed and his family,” Reed’s attorney Larry Klayman said in a statement.

The suit claims that the defendants have cost Reed opportunities at multi-million-dollar sponsorships over the course of his career.

The documents also allege that the defendants have been “intentionally and maliciously destroying” the reputation and sales of Reed and his wife’s company, grindworksUSA, which distributes golf equipment made by the Chinese company.

Reed was set to tee it up at the Alfred Dunhill Links this week, but was forced to withdraw due to back issues resulting from a soft mattress at a French hotel.

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19th Hole

Pro travels half way across world for qualifier and is disqualified after one hole

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Rules are rules.

In ordinary life, there are principles we must stick by. We may not agree with all but rules, or laws, are there, and it’s helpful to know them.

That’s also true in sports. And golf, in particular, loves a rule.

Over the years, golf has witnessed hundreds of infringements and penalties from the logical to the bizarre, and recent times has seen both.

Five months ago, Alex Cejka was disqualified for the second time for infringing a rule on green-reading, whilst in June, Hideki Matsuyama was dq’d for playing with a non-conforming club.

Over on the DP World Tour earlier this month, we reported on the expulsion of Aaron Cockerill from the Made In Himmerland tournament, after hitting his second ace in seven days, following that with a snowman, and forgetting to sign his card!

Golfers can, of course, use the stranger rules to their advantage.

Surely the most bizarre might be the regulation that allowed Thomas Pieters to gain a mulligan after ‘mis-hitting’ a putt at the Open de France, later to be re-interpreted, although, of course, too late.

‘Know your rules’ would be a simple maxim for all players and caddies, so it’s tough to feel too sorry for Blake Abercrombie, despite him losing circa $5000 because of an unavoidable error.

The mini-tour and Canadian Tour player entered the latest stage of the DP World Q-School at a cost of $2000 entry, plus his cost of flying from the US to Denmark – and ended up going home much earlier than planned.

Ryan French (@acaseofgthegolf1) used his infamous Twitter account to inform us all:

Replies asked whether the punishment fitted the crime, whether the rules consider the pressure these players are under, and why it isn’t simply a two-shot penalty like many other consequences.

To silence all, fellow entrant Nico Paez explained it to us all in his brief response :

We may not agree with all but rules, or laws, are there, and it’s helpful to know them.

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