golf

LIV on TV: Golf circuit signs broadcast deal with the CW Network

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

LIV Golf is coming to broadcast television after securing a deal with the rebranded CW Network.

The deal “will provide accessibility for our fans and maximum exposure for our athletes and partners,” LIV CEO Greg Norman said in a statement on Thursday.

Nexstar Media Group, which purchased the CW Network, said the deal is a multiyear agreement but did not disclose financial terms. LIV events will air live and be available for streaming via the network’s app.

The Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series was without a U.S. television deal in its initial season in 2022, streaming events on its website and on YouTube. As a result, the breakaway league struggled to reach mainstream audiences and discussions with other major networks, most recently FOX, never panned out.

The deal with the CW Network is unorthodox primarily because the network would be new to the sports world, a break from its typically teen-skewing lineup of dramas. But the Wall Street Journal reported Nexstar, the largest owner of local TV stations, plans a major overhaul of the network.

CEO Dennis Miller said in a statement Thursday that the deal represents a “significant milestone in our goal to re-engineer” the CW Network.

Norman said last week a U.S. television broadcast deal would be “crucial” and the next stage of growth for the PGA Tour competitor.

“We have a great platform that really should be shown to the world,” Norman said. “When we go internationally, we are applauded and accepted and everybody wants to see us. So here in the United States, it was obviously a very critical point to our business plan to make sure we do get on TV and we will get on TV.”

LIV broadcaster David Feherty hinted at the LIV-CW link on Thursday when he mentioned during an appearance in West Palm Beach, Fla., that the sides were in talks.

Norman, the front man of LIV Golf when it launched, helped the new circuit bring in such players as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Cameron Smith of Australia, Sergio Garcia of Spain and Lee Westwood of England.

After an eight-event opening season, LIV is looking to hold 14 tournaments this year, beginning with an event in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, from Feb. 24-26.

The CW has 220 affiliate stations in the United States. The network was recently purchased by Nexstar, with previous owners Paramount Global and Warner Bros. retaining minority stakes.

–Field Level Media

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