The Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf Tour has secured its first-ever broadcasting deal in the United States.
The upstart golf league has agreed to a multiyear deal with the CW starting with the 2023 season. Tournaments will be available to watch live on the CW and the CW app, which has over 90 million free downloads.
The first round of each tournament, to be played on Fridays, will be available exclusively on the app, while play on Saturdays and Sundays will be available on both.
The LIV Tour began in 2022 and was only available for viewers in the United States through the league website or YouTube. The deal will allow LIV golf to reach new markets and possibly create a larger fanbase.
It has been subject to criticism from the PGA and the golf world as a whole, but golfers have been drawn to it for its unique playing style and large prizes. It was also recently announced that LIV participants would still be allowed to play in the Masters in April.
“This is a momentous day for LIV Golf as this partnership is about more than just media rights,” said former PGA star and current LIV CEO Greg Norman in an official statement.
“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.”
“The CW and its majority owner, Nexstar Media Group, recognize 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. The CW is a world-class media partner, and we are honored to be joining forces to further bring LIV Golf to life as they stake their claim in professional sports.”
This is the first mainstream live sports agreement for the CW, owned by the country’s largest local television and media company.
Our new multiyear partnership with The CW will unlock our ability to serve both core golf fans and to reach the casual sports and entertainment viewer as part of our mission to grow the sport,” added LIV Chief Media Officer Will Staeger.
“Our innovative product attracts a younger viewership demographic to the table than the traditional golf fan, and we’re thrilled to be part of The CW’s growth into its new era of sports programming featuring the biggest stars in golf and our industry-leading storytelling and format.”
CW president Dennis Miller also looks forward to what the partnership can do for the network.
“Our new partnership between The CW and LIV Golf will deliver a whole new audience and add to the growing worldwide excitement for the league,” he said. “With CW’s broadcasts and streams, more fans across the country and around the globe can partake in the LIV Golf energy and view its innovative competition that has reimagined the sport for players, fans and the game of golf.
“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. 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.”
The CW won the LIV’s broadcast rights over Fox Sports and will air all 14 tournaments of the 2023 season. Those will be played in the United States, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, and other unannounced sites.
The season will begin on February 24 at El Camaleon Golf Course in Mayakoba, Mexico.