LIV Golf’s Debut on The CW Averages Less Than 300K Viewers

  • NBC's weekend coverage of the PGA Tour's Honda Classic lured in 85% more viewers.
  • The CW hasn't broadcast sports for more than two decades.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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LIV Golf averaged nearly 300,000 viewers over the weekend in the tour’s debut on The CW. 

The Saturday and Sunday broadcasts on The CW were seen by 85% fewer viewers than the PGA Tour’s broadcast network coverage of the Honda Classic on NBC, according to data from ShowBuzz Daily.

One factor in the disparity is NBC’s broadcast window on Saturday and Sunday was three hours compared to the five hours of coverage (1-6 p.m. ET) the CW carried those days. NBC pulled in an average of nearly 2 million viewers on Saturday and Sunday. 

Golf Channel’s lead-in coverage of the Honda Classic — also streamed on Peacock and ESPN+ — before NBC took over the coverage averaged 870,500 viewers. 

LIV Golf announced its multiyear deal with The CW last month after the Saudi-backed league was available only via streaming in its first season last year. 

The CW doesn’t typically provide its affiliates with weekend afternoon programming, and it hasn’t covered sports before the channel’s predecessor, UPN, broadcast the first rendition of the XFL in 2001.

UPN and the WB merged to create The CW in 2006, and the Nexstar Media Group purchased 75% of the network last year. 

In a news release earlier this month, NexStar said that LIV broadcasts would be available “in 100 percent of its markets across the United States.” But Deadline reported that some of The CW affiliates that NexStar doesn’t own chose not to carry LIV, although NexStar shifted the broadcasts to other affiliates in the same markets. 

“By utilizing the nationwide reach of our affiliate partners as well as the power of Nexstar stations, The CW has positioned itself as the broadcast destination for live mainstream sports for many years to come,” Dennis Miller, president of The CW, said in a statement. 

LIV coverage is available live on The CW app. 

The Honda Classic’s viewership on NBC was down about 7% for Saturday and Sunday compared to last year, according to Sports Media Watch

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