LIV Golf ‘will purchase airtime on Fox Sports activities after networks balked at Saudi-backed tour’s first TV deal’
Fairly than promoting media rights, it seems the upstart LIV Golf tour will as a substitute be shopping for airtime on Fox Sports activities 1.
The Saudi-backed golf collection is on the verge paying the Rupert Murdoch-owned sports activities community for airtime after NBC, CBS, ESPN, Apple and Amazon all balked at shopping for LIV Golf’s first media contract, a number of sources informed Golfweek. One supply added that Fox Sports activities solely bought concerned on the behest of Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s son and the CEO of Fox Corp.
‘There have been folks at Fox who needed nothing to do with this,’ the supply informed Golfweek. ‘They had been pressured to do it.’
Group Captain Cameron Smith of Punch GC poses with Greg Norman, CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, after profitable the person title throughout Day Three of the LIV Golf Invitational – Chicago at Wealthy Harvest Farms on September 18
This newest growth comes after Greg Norman, the legendary PGA player-turned LIV Golf CEO, gave a vastly totally different image of negotiations to ESPN.
‘We’re speaking to 4 totally different networks, and stay conversations the place presents are being placed on the desk,’ he informed ESPN two weeks in the past. ‘They will see what we’re delivering.’
LIV Golf has been on the heart of controversy within the golf world, not solely as a result of it has been paying PGA gamers to defect, but in addition as a result of the brand new tour is financed by the controversial Saudi Arabian regime’s Public Funding Fund.
That’s the similar fund that offered $2 billion to a personal fairness agency owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, in 2021. Since then, Kushner has tried to dealer a media rights deal on behalf of LIV Golf, however by no means finalized something, in accordance with an August article by Sports activities Enterprise Journal.
‘One cellphone name,’ a supply aware of the decision informed SBJ. ‘Completely casual. It lasted a really quick period of time to make an introduction.’
A spokesman for Kushner didn’t instantly reply to DailyMail.com’s request for affirmation.
LIV Golf can also be related to Trump by way of his programs. He is already hosted one tour occasion at his membership in New Jersey and can host the season finale at his course in Miami subsequent month.
Former US President Donald J. Trump (L), Saudi businessman Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan (C), and Jared Kushner (R) watch the primary spherical of the LIV Golf Bedminster invitational, a part of the brand new LIV Golf Invitational Sequence, on the Trump Nationwide Golf Membership in Bedminster, New Jersey
LIV Golf has been on the heart of controversy within the golf world, not solely as a result of it has been paying PGA gamers to defect, but in addition as a result of the brand new tour is financed by the controversial Saudi Arabian regime’s Public Funding Fund. That’s the similar fund that offered $2 billion to a personal fairness agency owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, in 2021. Since then, Kushner has tried to dealer a media rights deal on behalf of LIV Golf, however by no means finalized something, in accordance with an August article by Sports activities Enterprise Journal
LIV Golf’s first season has been performed and not using a media contract in place. As an alternative, LIV has been displaying its team-based tournaments by itself web site and YouTube. Circuit executives beforehand informed the Wall Road Journal that occasions had been made free to the general public in order that the tour may show its legitimacy with followers and networks, alike.
That plan didn’t come to fruition as main US networks and streaming companies all backed off LIV Golf, not solely in accordance with Golfweek and the Journal.
On one hand, Fox Sports activities looks as if a pure match for LIV Golf, contemplating Norman’s reported relationship with fellow Australian Rupert Murdoch, who owns the community. Entrance Workplace Sports activities stories that Murdoch has a relationship with LIV advisor David Hill, a extremely regarded sports activities tv producer and one other Australian.
In truth, the three collaborated on the failed World Golf Tour within the mid-Nineteen Nineties — a circuit that bears placing similarities to the PGA’s present rival, LIV Golf.
Conversely, Norman did have a nasty breakup with Fox Sports activities in 2015, when he felt he was blamed for disappointing protection of that 12 months’s US Open.
‘I felt like I bought rolled below the bus,’ he informed FOS in 2021 of his firing on the community.
The PGA Tour’s bitter rivalry with LIV has been golf’s greatest rivalry because the upstart tour was launched with funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund, which additionally owns the English Premier League’s Newcastle United. Saudi Arabia has appropriated not less than $2.4 billion for LIV Golf, in accordance with stories.
Controversy instantly erupted because the PGA Tour banished defectors, akin to Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Australian sensation Cameron Smith, all of whom have been criticized for taking hundreds of thousands from a rustic that has been extensively criticized for human rights violations.
Litigation is ongoing involving each the PGA and European excursions over LIV golfers’ banishment from these established circuits.
LIV Golf has continued by way of its first season and not using a media contract in place, as a substitute displaying its team-based competitions by itself web site and YouTube. Executives from the circuit informed the Journal that occasions had been made free to the general public in order that the tour may show its legitimacy with followers and networks, alike.
In accordance with Staeger, LIV Golf is utilizing the recognition of NBC’s Premier League protection in addition to ESPN and Netflix’s System 1 content material as a working mannequin.
‘If you have a look at these examples, they actually epitomize the associate or companions that we wish to discover,’ Staeger mentioned. ‘Companions involved with rising our property.’