The controversial LIV Golf is coming to the CW Network.
The Saudi-funded golf tour reached a streaming and broadcast television deal with the CW. The news release said the network will broadcast the tour’s 14 events this season over the air and on the CW app.
LIV Golf is the upstart effort where Greg Norman and a large number of professional golfers have broken away from the PGA to start their own new tour. Dozens of well-known golfers have signed up for the LIV tour like Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and more.
One of the main incentives is that LIV offers astronomical prize money and several players have been given huge financial guarantees.
“This is a momentous day for LIV Golf as this partnership is about more than just media rights,” LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said in a statement. “The CW will provide accessibility for our fans and maximum exposure for our athletes and partners as their reach includes more than 120 million households across the United States. We’re very proud to note how consequential it is that a league that has only existed for one year has secured a full broadcast deal in its debut full league season.”
Nexstar Media Group, Inc. owns 75% of the CW.
“Our new partnership between The CW and LIV Golf will deliver a whole new audience and add to the growing worldwide excitement for the league. With CW’s broadcasts and streams, more fans across the country and around the globe can partake in the LIV Golf energy and view its innovative competition that has reimagined the sport for players, fans and the game of golf,” said Dennis Miller, president of The CW Network. “Our partnership with LIV Golf marks a significant milestone in our goal to re-engineer the network with quality, diversified programming for our viewers, advertisers and CW affiliates. This also marks the first time in The CW’s 17-year history that the network is the exclusive broadcast home for live mainstream sports.”
The tour does have its controversy. Many politicians and activists have claimed Saudi Arabia is participating in “sportswashing, ” which means using a sport that people like to improve the country’s image.
The first LIV Golf event is slated for Feb. 24 to Feb. 26 in Mexico. Before the deal was reached, LIV events were available online for free on YouTube.
Nexstar Media Group is the parent company of KTLA 5 News.