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LIV Golf has a new television home on the CW network, which is more known for television shows like Riverdale and Smallville rather than sports. LIV Golf will become the first sports commodity on the CW network. While most critics would have expected the Saudi Arabia public fund-backed professional golf tour to land a television deal with ESPN, FOX, or NBC, however, the CW network offered the best opportunity to turn a profit. According to LIV Golf’s CEO Greg Norman, CW proved the best option, with sponsors “lined up” to be part of the broadcasts.
According to the New York Times, the multi-year deal is considered revenue-sharing, assuming CW will carry the load for promoting the gold league’s tournaments. The 14-stop 2023 gold golf tournament will start February Feb. 24-26 at the Mayakoba Resort in Mexico. CW will have coverage of the first tournament on the weekend, with Friday’s coverage of the tournament being held exclusively on the CW app.
“Of course we knew that getting this out on a network was critical for us. But for us to be sitting here with a contract that is signed is really a very, very proud moment for our players and for our sponsors,” said Greg Norman, LIV Golf CEO.
Last year Nexstar Media Group purchased a 75% stake in the CW network. Nexstar Meda Group owns over 150 local television stations. CW ranked just 21st in network viewership rankings last year. The biggest uphill battle LIV Golf will have is directing its viewers from Youtube and Facebook to its new CW 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. 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,” said Dennis Miller, President, The CW Network, in a release.
Before their broadcasting deal with the CW Network, In June 2022, LIV Golf signed a streaming deal with video streaming service DAZN, as well as Eleven Sports in Italy, and the likes of Claro Sports in Latin America. It is too early to tell what the long-term play is for LIV Golf and the CW Network however this takes the cake for the top television sports deal of 2023.