Greg Norman, the LIV Golf Invitational Series chief executive, says they are in talks with as many as four networks over a possible TV deal.
How true that is remains to be seen. It’s possible he’s attempting to drum up interest. AppleTV have reportedly already snubbed the Saudi-backed league due to “its toxic nature”.
But according to Norman, these four networks are now embroiled in a “bidding war”.
Related: JT reacts to LIV Golf players’ letter to OWGR chairman
“We’re talking to four different networks — and live conversations where offers are being put on the table,” Norman previously told ESPN 1000. “Because [the networks] can see the value of our product, they can see what we’re delivering.”
To this point, the LIV Golf Tour broadcasts their events on their official website, YouTube and Facebook entirely for free.
With the lack of advertisements and constant action, perhaps you’d expect to see some huge numbers watching.
This account on Twitter has been analysing the number of viewers throughout each LIV event this year. The LIV Golf Chicago audience reportedly peaked at 95,000 viewers as Cameron Smith claimed his maiden victory on the tour before suggesting his win proved his doubters wrong.
TAKE A LOOK:
This is broadcast on YouTube.
To the entire world.
They literally can’t give it away. pic.twitter.com/QuwFsscV3s
— David Bieleski (@deepdivegolf) September 20, 2022
Despite these figures, Bryson DeChambeau is already impressed with the numbers LIV have put up across their platforms.
When asked how difficult it would be for LIV to succeed without a TV contract, DeChambeau said “it’s coming”. This comment came as he revealed the PGA Tour was “only hurting themselves” by excluding LIV players from the Presidents Cup.
Related: Billy Horschel hits back over Presidents Cup inclusion
“This [LIV Golf in 2022] is beta,” DeChambeau previously told the media. “This is a beta test. That’s what people I think forget is that we’re only just starting, and we’re trying to present this to anybody and everybody that wants to be a part of it.
“I think that’s what’s beautiful about it, being on YouTube. It’s free to access for anybody that wants to watch it. [We had] 180,000 concurrent viewers in that playoff. Over two million unique viewers watched. That’s pretty solid. Someone is going to take the dive on us.”
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It’s clear that LIV Golf have already upset the status quo in professional golf. The strength of the field has continually improved with every event.
But a TV deal would be absolutely massive in the long-term viability of LIV Golf.
Even though LIV is bankrolled by the bottomless well of money from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, it would seem likely that their financiers would like some degree of financial and commercial viability from their huge investment.
Without a TV deal, that is simply impossible.
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Next page: Trevor Immelman says LIV players “knew the consequences”