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Saudi-Backed Golf League Seeks $500M Rights Deal

  • New competitor to PGA Tour could seek a global deal - or divide up rights on country by country basis.
  • Ex-ESPN exec Sean Bratches already has 'short list' of potential golf announcers.
Caitlyn Jordan-Naples Daily News/Design: John Regula

Greg Norman’s LIV Golf Invitational Series is ready to start negotiations with potential streaming and broadcast partners. 

The ambitious aim, sources told Front Office Sports, is to score up to $500 million for global media rights.

The Saudi-backed golf startup may seek a global deal or divide its rights on a country-by-country basis. But streaming giants like DAZN make sense for an international series that will tee it up in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

“Streaming platforms, particularly the Netflixes, the Amazons, the Apples, are truly global. That’s one path we could pursue,” said Sean Bratches, a former ESPN executive and LIV’s chief commercial officer. 

Bratches acknowledged the other path, a bidding process for each country, claiming there is “interest across the board.”

  • LIV already has a “short list” of potential announcers, including three “interesting names.”
  • No players have signed with the new rival to the PGA Tour yet. 

In March, the PGA Tour agreed to nine-year extensions with CBS, NBC, and ESPN worth $7 billion from 2022 through 2030. 

Plenty of Purse Money

Launching in June, the league will feature an eight-tournament schedule that will offer $25 million purses and only 48 competitors per event. Sites include New Jersey, Portland, Boston, Chicago, London, Bangkok, and Saudi Arabia.

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