Apple and Amazon turn down LIV Golf

Saudi-backed LIV Golf has suffered a further blow to its hopes of a broadcast deal with both Apple and Amazon turning down the organisation, reports the WSJ.

The paper notes that LIV had approached both US companies over the rights, but sources familiar with the matter said that neither expressed interest and discussions never advanced to a more serious stage. 

Other US broadcasters that have turned down LIV so far reportedly include ESPN, CBS, NBC and Fox. 

Responding to the story, LIV Golf chief media officer Will Staeger, said: “We’re bullish about our prospects given our player field and the quality of our product.”

The news is a blow for LIV, coming days after its CEO Greg Norman boasted to ESPN 1000 Chicago that the organisation was in talks with “four different networks”.

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.

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