It seems more people were interested in animals being funny than the breakaway league's season-opener in Mexico. Matt Chivers explains
LIV Golf’s viewing figures have always been a contentious issue – particularly when compared to those of the PGA Tour.
This year, though, it was all expected to change as LIV excitedly announced a partnership with the CW Network after failing to strike a deal with a number of popular streaming services and mainstream broadcast companies.
The Saudi-financed circuit was reportedly close to a signature from Fox Sports, but this never came to fruition. NBC, CBS, and ESPN are all tied up with the PGA Tour.
Instead, CW will show all 14 LIV events in 2023 and each first round’s action will be shown on the CW App.
“The CW will provide accessibility for our fans and maximum exposure for our athletes and partners as their reach includes more than 120 million households across the United States,” Norman told us when the announcement was made.
“We’re very proud to note how consequential it is that a league that has only existed for one year has secured a full broadcast deal in its debut full league season.”
But it was a brutal first weekend for LIV’s viewership numbers. According to John Ourand, a journalist for the Sports Business Journal, the season-opener in Mayakoba received a rating of 0.2 across 26 “metered markets” that showed it on the CW Network.
Some of the CW’s most-watched programmes include Whose Line is it Anyway?, The Winchesters and Masters of Illusion.
Another show the CW enjoys success with is World’s Funniest Animals, and – as Golf Digest’s Joel Beall pointed out…
But while that is mildly amusing, what will really hurt LIV Golf is how it compared to the PGA Tour.
Here’s another SBJ journalist, Josh Carpenter, to help…
Perhaps we could forgive LIV Golf’s inferior ratings as the start-up league continues to find its feet.
Or perhaps you could argue that, given the amount of buzz the start-up league has created in the golf world, its numbers should be through the roof.
It is, quite literally, a new low for Greg Norman and his band of merry men.
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