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More LIV contract details emerge: Suspensions, media rights, caddie microphones and more

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A new court filing has revealed new information regarding LIV Golf regulations.

In early September, Judge Beth Labson Freeman ordered LIV Golf to come forward with information about contracts and operations. While much of the financial information was ordered to remain sealed, Monday’s court filing did shed light on many aspects of LIV that were previously unknown.

Judge Freeman’s September 1st decision read:

“The Court finds that TRO Plaintiffs have not demonstrated compelling reasons to seal any portion of the Rules and Regulations. The redactions TRO Plaintiffs seek are substantial, and Mr. Loffhagen’s declaration (John Loffhagen is the chief legal officer for LIV Golf) lacks specificity regarding any competitive harm that TRO Plaintiffs or LIV may face if the Rules and Regulations are made public. Moreover, TRO Plaintiffs offer no factual support for their contention that their proposed redactions to the Rules and Regulations are narrowly tailored. The Court therefore denies without prejudice the motion to seal as to the Rules and Regulations.”

Sports Illustrated’s “Morning Read” shared some interesting revelations from the language in the player agreements, which include the following:

  • “All golf tournaments are to be scheduled to create optimal co-existence with professional golf and the majors.”
  • “Players may not make any statement or commit any act, nor make, post, publish or communicate to any Person or in any public forum any false, defamatory, libelous, or slanderous remarks, comments or statements, if such statement, act or failure could reasonably be expected to, or actually does, adversely affect (i) the Player’s public image and/or ability to participate in connection with any Tournament or Series event or (ii) the reputation or public image of the Series event, the game of golf, LIV Golf, and any other Player, any official partner of the Series, or any other sponsor of the Tournament.”
  • “Players are not permitted to gamble on any golf tournament, either directly or indirectly, this includes LIV Golf or other golfing events.”
  • Player must make themselves available as required for the purposes of the conduct of all anti-doping regulations.”
  • “Players are required to comply with all reasonable requests to attend press/media interviews and to cooperate with the media immediately upon the completion of each round of a Tournament.”
  • “Players grant almost exclusive media rights to LIV Golf for LIV Golf events only, but are also allowed to sell, transfer their individual media rights specifically the value of his name, image, and likeness.”
  •  “Any suspensions or disciplinary actions by LIV Golf regarding a player will be made public once the matter is final.”
  •  “Caddies are expected to comply with any request by LIV Golf to wear a microphone.”

The latest LIV Golf event gets underway in Chicago this week.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Paulo

    Sep 15, 2022 at 12:45 am

    I’m more interested in the anti doping stuff.

  2. Death Wish

    Sep 14, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Oh wow , the smoking gun. Bahaha

  3. Pingback: ‘Too toxic’ – Streaming service giant reportedly turns down LIV Golf – GolfWRX

  4. Dave

    Sep 14, 2022 at 11:12 am

    OK…sounds like a pretty standard, reasonable contract. However I’m interested in the ““All golf tournaments are to be scheduled to create optimal co-existence with professional golf and the majors.” Seems to me that LIV wants to work with other tours? I’m sure someone will tear the contract apart for the benefit of the PGA. Lol…

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19th Hole

‘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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Greg Norman reveals the key factor that helped lure Cam Smith to LIV

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This week, Greg Norman spoke with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age to discuss the acquisitions of Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman.

In the interview, some interesting details emerged regarding how Norman was able to land two of Australia’s biggest stars.

The key factor that caused the reigning Champion Golfer of the Year to jump ship was offering him the opportunity to own a share of a golf franchise.

“You’ve got to think about it from Cam’s perspective, he completely understood one thing that other people are struggling to understand: the value LIV Golf brings, and that new value is the franchise,” Norman said.

“Cam knows about it, but he’s probably a little too young to understand what Kerry Packer did in cricket. He did what he did for the players, creating teams and night cricket … look where it’s evolved to from there with the IPL. The value of those teams in India is incredible. That’s the new value we bring.

“[Smith] sees the market that Australia presents and the market which, quite honestly, has been starved of high-quality players and new value for the game of golf. The Presidents Cup comes in there once every seven to 10 years, sucks the economy dry and then disappears.”

The deal for Smith also involved fellow Australian Marc Leishman owning a piece of the franchise. The deal will allow good friends, Smith and Leishman, to essentially run their own Australian golf team on the global stage next year and beyond.

In addition to Smith and Leishman, Greg Norman was also after Adam Scott. Thus far, the 2013 Masters champion has resisted temptation and was at the “players only” meeting led by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in an effort to improve the PGA Tour.

Norman said that while he initially did want Scott to join, that ship has most likely sailed:

“How can I answer that question? There were discussions early on with Adam and I think right now with Marc and Cam being the principals of Team Australia, I think quite honestly it’s over to them.”

“They have to build out the most solid team which gives them the best value going forward. Obviously, they’ll come to us and ask us questions, and there’s so much good young talent coming out of Australia. I can name you four or five of the kids. There are some very good ones and one or two have a connection up into Asia, and that Asian value from a financial standpoint is solid.”

The first Australian event for LIV is scheduled for next year after the Masters. Norman said he has spoken to over 20 courses about their interest in hosting an event.

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19th Hole

Ian Poulter accused of lacking ‘manners and common decency’ after post-round Wentworth incident

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Another week, another Ian Poulter online feud.

During the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the Englishman told NBC’s Rex Hoggard to “show some respect” after Hoggard pointed out the fact that Poulter was wearing LIV Golf clothing when he was asked not to by the DP World Tour.

Poulter’s comments were in regard to Hoggard tweeting about Poulter on the day of Queen Elizabeth’s death. (Despite Hoggard’s tweet preceding her death)

Yesterday, Poulter was at it again. This time, the Twitter spat involved Sky Sports reporter Jamie Weir.

The spat began over a blog post from the Alistair Tait titled “The European Dis-Union”.

Weir commented on Twitter:

“And (Poulter) wears LIV-branded clothing when specifically asked not to. And makes snide, petty little remarks about Tour-owned video of himself. And point-blank ignores a DPWT press officer when asked politely if he’ll spare some writers a few minutes.’

Of course, Poulter couldn’t let the comment go unchecked and gave a response:

“Oh Jamie… rushing to catch a flight after an hour 30 fog delay. I could see a large gathering of fans who wanted signatures & photos. Or a few journalists to the right. I decided to do autographs and photos for the fans instead of speaking to the journalists. I’d say I chose the right option.”

According to Weir, the situation unfolded a bit differently than Poulter claimed.

“Always nice to sign autographs for the fans, good for you,’ Weir responded. ‘No issue with you not speaking to the press, more the fact you completely blanked the press officer who politely asked you.”

Poulter then accused Weir of looking for something to criticize him about, saying if it wasn’t this it would be “my color socks”.

“Oh Jamie, it had to be something… just looking for anything to create negativity and divisiveness.. if it wasn’t that I’m sure my color socks would have been offensive to someone somehow somewhere. Keep creating diversity.”

Weir kept it going and thought Poulter owed the reporter an apology.

“Eh?! Socks? What on earth are you banging on about?! Is it that difficult to say “sorry, bit short on time” when someone who works for the Tour politely asks you a question rather than point-blank ignore them? It’s called manners and common decency, Ian.”

 

Poulter ended the exchange by “apologizing,” though there seemed to be some sarcasm in his response.

“I hereby apologize to the DP World Tour press officer. I’m sorry that I treated you differently to how I normally would. I shouldn’t have stooped that low. I will make sure to treat people the same as I always have with respect. Let’s hope this works both ways moving forward.”

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of “Ian Poulter Argues With Someone on Social Media”.

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