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‘Too toxic’ – Streaming service giant reportedly turns down LIV Golf

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Whilst organizers appear happy with their viewing figures on YouTube and social media, the LIV tour was counting on a big named channel to get involved, certainly sooner than later.

In July, bloomberg.com ran a report comparing the numbers from the first U.S stop, LIV Portland, won by Branden Grace, with the RBC Canadian Open, successfully defended by Rory McIlroy.

The article includes the paragraph:

“The Portland event drew an average of about 55,000 viewers on YouTube in the first two rounds and about 93,000 for the final, according to Apex Marketing Group. A LIV Golf spokesperson said the total viewership was “significantly higher” when factoring in the audience on broadcasters outside the US and people watching the replay, but declined to give a number. For comparison, the final round of the Canadian Open on CBS last month drew an average of 2.8 million viewers.”

Indeed, CBS coverage of the final round at St. George’s saw over 3.7 million viewers tune in to McIlroy’s final round two shot victory over Tony Finau, a record for the event, leaving Portland’s scattered multi-platform options trailing well behind.

Things haven’ got that much better since, with all of CBS, ESPN and NBC confirming their allegiance to the PGA Tour, despite a major re-hash of the 2023 LIV Golf calendar, and the signing of then world number two and Open Championship winner Cam Smith.

Sports business site, sportspromedia.com, commented that, “LIV Golf’s Saudi backing means it does not have to adhere to normal business practices for a sports property, with a focus on simply disrupting its rivals and making noise,” but whilst seemingly financially secure, nationwide, big-time coverage is high on the list for CEO Greg Norman and co.

Today’s news, tweeted by @BarstoolSports contributor, Dan Rapaport, will therefore hit those plans hard enough.

As Dan says, to increase the viewing figures from their own website and the various social media platforms, the LIV series may now have to buy time on a suitable network, or potentially fund their own channel.

However, in an interview today on Kap & J. Hood on ESPN 1000Norman claimed that LIV are currently “talking to four different networks” with “live conversations where offers are being put on the table.”

With talk of investment into a LIV women’s tour – “We have discussed it internally, the possibility is there,” said Norman – the Saudi-backed series may well have to buy time on a suitable network…

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  1. Ronnie Mundt

    Sep 16, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    Toxic? So if I watch it it will be eating lead paint? Man if only they added 3 “bros”, 2 literally’s and said “LETS GO!!!!!!!!!” 11 times…..

  2. Pingback: ‘They are trying to destroy us’ – Greg Norman no longer willing to sit down with PGA Tour – GolfWRX

  3. Jay Moonahand

    Sep 14, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    LIV’s events stream on the DAZN app so this notion of they only have YouTube is once again fake news by golf media.

  4. Anonymous Source

    Sep 14, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    Well-placed source. Sure Dan. Sure.

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19th Hole

Cam Smith enjoys meme poking fun at Rory McIlroy at latest LIV event

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The LIV Golf Series continues this week in Chicago, where the Champion Golfer of the Year Cam Smith will make his second start.

The Australian’s move to LIV has been one of the biggest stories of 2022, with Smith reportedly signing a deal worth north of $100 million with the breakaway tour.

Ahead of this week’s event in Chicago, Smith was shown a meme by the DrunkByTheTurn team, with the Aussie seemingly entertained, laughing at its content alongside fellow pro Pat Perez.

As revealed by the DrunkByTheTurn Twitter account, the meme in question was poking fun at LIV’s biggest critic Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy has continuously criticized both the LIV Golf Series and its defectors, just this week saying that he believes no LIV player should be a part of the 2023 Ryder Cup.

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19th Hole

Report: Major TV network the leading contender to strike deal for LIV Golf media rights

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The latest LIV Golf event gets underway in Chicago this week, with those looking to tune in once again having to fire up YouTube to watch the 48 professionals do battle.

LIV has yet to strike a media deal that would allow a network or streaming service to broadcast their events, and while rumors surrounding a deal with Apple were circulating, Barstool’s Dan Rapaport reported this week that they deemed LIV to be “too toxic.”

According to a report from Front Office Sports, Fox Sports is now the leading contender to acquire LIV’s U.S. media rights.

While not going into specifics on whether a deal was close to being struck with Fox, Will Staeger, LIV’s chief media officer, told FOS that they are currently in discussions with “virtually every major media company.”

“We want exposure. We want broad viewership. We want to be on a platform where viewers are accustomed to watching sports.” he added. “Golf needs it, actually. Quite honestly, listening to golf on TV gets rather boring. Because everybody says the same thing every time about everybody.”

Interestingly, Fox Sports fired Greg Norman from his announcing role back in 2016, just a year after being in the job, with the Aussie telling FOS last year that he felt that he got “rolled under the bus.”

Earlier this week, Norman revealed to Kap & J. Hood on ESPN 1000 that they were in discussion with four different networks, and it appears that Fox lead the race to land a deal that should be a game-changer for LIV.

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19th Hole

Bryson DeChambeau thanks Tiger for creating LIV Golf

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Bryson DeChambeau was one of the biggest names to jump ship in golf’s civil war, with the 29-year-old reportedly earning over $100 million to sign with LIV Golf.

The Golf Scientist will tee it up in Chicago this week for the latest LIV Golf Series event, and ahead of the 54-hole tournament, Bryson opened up on his decision to leave the PGA Tour.

“This is the biggest decision besides choosing my agent that I’ve ever made in my entire life, and I couldn’t be happier to be over here.

“I have no buyer’s remorse. I have ultimate respect for the PGA Tour and what they’ve done for my career, as I’ve said from day one, and they’ve allowed me this opportunity.”

Then, Bryson revealed that he must thank Tiger for creating the opportunity.

“I have to look back and thank Tiger for this opportunity because he’s the one that’s ultimately created this.”

Bryson didn’t go into specifics on the latter comment, however, it echoes the sentiment he shared two months ago when the Californian told media: “I have high regard for Tiger; look, this wouldn’t be existing if it weren’t for Tiger. So I have the utmost respect for what he did for the game of golf, what he did for the PGA Tour that allowed us to have this opportunity.’’

Back in July, DeChambeau also revealed that a once close relationship with Tiger had now gone cold since the PGA Tour/LIV Golf divide.

“We have been fairly close and unfortunately, we have not spoken, one day we will again, and I am always open for a conversation with anybody. I have no problem with it and I hope we can come see eye to eye on it.’’

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