LIV Golf in talks with four US broadcasters, says CEO Greg Norman

Controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf has attracted ‘enormous’ interest from media partners, the organisation’s CEO has said. 

Speaking to ESPN 1000 Chicago, the retired golfer and LIV Golf boss Greg Norman said that the organisation is in talks with multiple outlets internationally to broadcast its tournaments.

While not naming names, Norman told the station: “We’re talking to four different networks [in the US] – and live conversations where offers are being put on the table. Because [the networks] can see the value of our product, they can see what we’re delivering.”

In the absence of any rights deals, LIV Golf to date has shown its tournaments for free on YouTube. Apex Marketing said that the first round of its debut tournament averaged 94,000 viewers, and round two had 54,000. 

Greg Norman

LIV Golf’s only rights deal to date has been with DAZN in the US and its other active markets including Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan and Canada. DAZN was offered the non-exclusive rights for free in an attempt to grow the organisation’s footprint. It attempted to secure rights deals in the UK ahead of its first event at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire, but Sky Sports (which holds rights to the PGA Tour) and BT Sport turned down the opportunity.

The upstart LIV Golf has attracted top talent including Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson with the promise of hugely improved pay packets. The PGA has banned any LIV Golf pros  from playing in its tournaments, while Europe’s DP World Tour is in a legal battle to suspend any members that switch to LIV Golg. The overall organisation, backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, has been accused of ‘sportswashing’ the country’s poor reputation on human rights following the state-approved murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Going on the offensive, Norman went on to accuse the PGA Tour of “trying to destroy” LIV Golf in a separate interview, and said that the organisation was no longer willing to negotiate with the established titan of the sport. 

In comments to The Australian, the CEO said: “This notion we’re trying to destroy tours is not true. The PGA Tour is trying to destroy us, it’s as simple as that. The PGA Tour has not sat down and had a conversation with myself or any of my investors.

“We tried awfully hard, I know I did personally for the past year. When we knew we were never going to hear from them, we just decided to go. We have no interest in sitting down with them, to be honest with you, because our product is working.”

Most Recent