The controversial LIV golf circuit has signed many big names and generated a lot of buzz over the past several months, but one thing it hasn’t had is a deal to televise the events.
As reported Tuesday night, that could soon change.
Golfweek cites multiple sources as reporting that LIV Golf is nearing negotiations to purchase airtime on Fox Sports, which would allow its events to be broadcast on FS1. According to reports, the deal is still being finalized.
LIV Golf has five events in its inaugural season with three more on tap before the end of the year. In the year It will grow to 14 races in 2023. According to Golfweek, with Fox Sports, it was not immediately clear whether it would begin this year or next year, once completed.
So far, LIV’s 54-hole tee-off events have been streamed on YouTube as well as on the tour’s website. Commissioner Greg Norman said earlier this month that LIV was in talks with four media companies about a potential partnership, but did not disclose.
A source told Golfweek that the deal with Fox Sports would see LIV buy airtime on the network rather than receive a fee from Fox Sports – which is common in the world of sports rights. LIV requested a two-year rights fee for a deal, as well as a guaranteed time slot for the airline, but Fox Sports rejected both, a source familiar with the details of the talks told Golfweek. According to the report, LIV will also be responsible for product and ad sales.
LIV Golf on Tuesday changed its format for the season-ending team championship at Tempe National Doral Miami, scheduled for October 28-30, in an attempt to get popular players on the course on Sunday, if there is a media agreement in place at that time.
The original format for the $50 million championship involved just two teams competing on Sunday’s course for a $16 million winning purse. But TV executives wanted more players in the final round, so LIV Golf adjusted its plan to include four people competing in stroke play in the final round.
The LIV golfer’s manager told ESPN that not having a media rights deal, whether it’s network TV or streaming, is his biggest concern.
“They said they were close,” the agent said. “We need to get an eyeball on this.”
More than two dozen PGA Tour members have defected to LIV Golf in recent months, including major champions Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson. The special visit has been widely criticized due to its financial support from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.