Saturday September 30, 2023

LIV Reportedly Near Deal to Buy Airtime on FOX Sports

  • LIV Golf currently airs its tournaments on YouTube.
  • A deal would mark FOX’s first venture in golf since it sold USGA rights to NBC in 2020.
Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports
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LIV Golf is reportedly in talks with FOX Sports to purchase airtime to broadcast its events. 

The move would mark the controversial Saudi-backed series’ first linear television deal

The deal, which is still being finalized, would see LIV purchase airtime on FOX rather than receive a rights fee. LIV would also be responsible for selling ads and producing its events. 

  • LIV currently airs its tournaments on YouTube.
  • The series will hold 14 tournaments in 2023, up from eight in 2022.
  • FOX hasn’t aired golf since it sold USGA rights to NBC in 2020.
  • It is unclear when a deal between LIV and FOX would start. 

LIV has been generating “enormous” interest from potential U.S. broadcasters, according to its CEO Greg Norman. 

Some are refuting the report of LIV buying airtime. 

“All this rumor and speculation is being driven by adversaries that are attempting to chill or stall our efforts,” a person with knowledge of the talks told FOS.

However, the series has been unable to secure deals with ESPN, CBS, and NBC — with one reason being that the rival PGA Tour has deals with all three networks. Amazon and Apple have reportedly passed on it. 

Similar Playbook 

LIV would not be the first to go down this path. Major League Soccer paid ESPN to show its games, and it paid off with a landmark deal.

In June, MLS agreed to a 10-year, $2.5 billion exclusive streaming deal with Apple. The league will be responsible for all production costs associated with matches.

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