While organizers seem content with their YouTube and social media viewing figures, the LIV Tour relied on a major named channel to get involved, certainly sooner rather than later.
In July, bloomberg.com released a report comparing the numbers from the first US leg, LIV Portland, won by Branden Grace, with the RBC Canadian Open, successfully defended by Rory McIlroy.
The article includes the paragraph:
“The Portland event averaged about 55,000 YouTube viewers in the first two rounds and about 93,000 for the final, according to Apex Marketing Group. A spokesperson for LIV Golf said the total viewership was ” considerably higher” when factoring in viewership from broadcasters outside the United States and people watching the replay, but declined to give a figure. For comparison, the final round of the Canadian Open on CBS last month averaged 2.8 million viewers.
Indeed, CBS’s coverage of the final round at St. George’s saw more than 3.7 million viewers tune in to McIlroy’s second-round win over Tony Finau, a record for the event, leaving Portland’s scattered multiplatform options. far behind.
Things have improved a lot since then, with all of CBS, ESPN and NBC confirming their allegiance to the PGA Tour, despite a major overhaul of the 2023 LIV Golf schedule and the signing of the then world number two and Open Championship winner. Cam Smith.
The sports business site, sportspromedia.com, commented that, “LIV Golf’s Saudi support means it doesn’t have to adhere to normal business practices for sports ownership, simply focusing on disrupting rivals and noise,” but although seemingly financially secure, large-scale national coverage is high on the list for CEO Greg Norman and co.
So today’s news, tweeted by @BarstoolSports contributor Dan Rapaport, will hit those plans pretty hard.
FOX makes sense here – CBS, NBC and ESPN are all locked in with the PGA Tour – but FOX quickly ran away from the golf business when they got the chance. Maybe LIV saves time on a network. Or they continue to use the free DTC on their site/YouTube.
It’s all USA, btw.
— Dan Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) September 13, 2022
As Dan puts it, to boost the viewing figures of their own website and various social media platforms, the LIV series may now need to buy time on a suitable network, or possibly fund their own channel.
However, in an interview today on Kap & J. Hood on ESPN 1000, Norman claimed that LIV is currently “talk to four different networks” with “live conversations where deals are put on the table.”
Speaking of investing in a female LIV tour – “We’ve been discussing it internally, the possibility is there,” Norman said – the Saudi-backed series may well need to buy some time on a proper network…
Over the 19th hole