- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
The Nexstar-owned broadcast network has signed a multi-year deal with the startup golf association, which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Under the terms of the deal The CW will air 14 LIV Golf events in 2023, beginning with a tournament to be held in Mexico Feb. 24-26. The tournaments will air live on The CW and stream on the CW app on Saturdays and Sundays, with the Friday matches streaming on the app.
The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that the two sides were “very close” to a deal.
Notably, LIV Golf will continue to produce its own event coverage for the 2023 tournament season (it produced the 2022 season, which it streamed on its YouTube channel). Arlo White will return as play-by-play host with David Feherty and Jerry Foltz serving as analysts.
Financial terms were not disclosed, so it is not clear if LIV is getting a rights fee, like the PGA Tour does for its events, or if it is doing an alternate financial arrangement, like revenue sharing.
Nexstar completed its acquisition of The CW last year (prior owners Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount still hold small stakes).
The local TV station owner is transforming the network from a home for scripted fare targeting a younger audience to something that it believes will be a bit broader. As THR‘s Lesley Goldberg previously reported, The CW only expects to have three U.S. scripted original series next season, including the recently renewed All American.
“For The CW, our partnership with LIV Golf marks a significant milestone in our goal to re-engineer the network with quality, diversified programming for our viewers, advertisers and CW affiliates,” CW president Dennis Miller said in a statement. “This also marks the first time in The CW’s 17-year history that the network is the exclusive broadcast home for live mainstream sports.”
LIV, meanwhile, is hoping that a real TV deal can dramatically expand its reach.
“This is a momentous day for LIV Golf as this partnership is about more than just media rights. The CW’s nationwide reach as America’s fifth broadcast network, will provide accessibility for our fans and maximum exposure for our athletes and partners,” said LIV CEO and commissioner Greg Norman. “The CW recognizes the enormous interest in and potential of our league and with their support, more fans will experience the energy and innovative competition that LIV Golf is using to reinvigorate the sport.”
LIV has spent enormous sums to lure top PGA Tour talent like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau to its own product, and has held events (including at Donald Trump’s course in New Jersey) with tweaked formats to try and appeal to a younger demographic.
But the PGA has fought back, telling broadcast partners (which include NBC, Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery) that any deal with LIV could impact future negotiations with the PGA. And the PGA’s biggest TV draw, Tiger Woods, has launched his own company, which will produce primetime golf events for TV, open only to PGA golfers (and presumably their TV partners).
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
Robert De Niro