Have Fox Sports been "FORCED" into TV deal with LIV Golf?!

LIV Golf to buy "airtime deal" with Fox Sports, confirms Golfweek.

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 28 Sep 2022
Have Fox Sports been "FORCED" into TV deal with LIV Golf?!

LIV Golf is reportedly closing in on an "airtime deal" for its tournaments with Fox Sports, according to Golfweek

But interestingly, the source behind their report considers they were "forced into it."

The deal is said to be nearing completion but nothing has yet been made official. 

Should it go through, LIV Golf will not even receive a payment. 

Instead, LIV would buy time on the channel to air its events in what could be interpreted as a failure by the lucrative series to attract significant commercial interest. 

It is also unclear as to when the TV deal could start, with three tournaments left on the LIV Golf schedule for 2022. 

Next year will see a brand new $405 million LIV Golf League come into force, with an extended schedule of 14 tournaments and 12 established team captains. 

At present, LIV Golf broadcast on their official website and on YouTube.

David Feherty recently made a controversial move to join the LIV Golf commentary team, which also comprises Arlo White, Jerry Foltz and Dom Boulet.

Bubba Watson, who has signed as one of the new team captains, is currently out with injury but he has been walking the fairways as an on-course announcer in recent weeks. 

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman recently told how there were four interested broadcasters engaging in a "bidding war" to win the viewing rights of the Saudi-bankrolled circuit, but Golfweek considers Fox Sports is now firmly leading the race. 

It is understood from the publication that NBC, CBS, Disney, Apple and Amazon had all been approached by LIV Golf, but that Fox Sports got involved "only at the behest of Lachlan Murdoch", who is the executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corp. 

But despite interest from Murdoch, it is understood from Golfweek's source that those at Fox Sports are not particularly keen on the idea. 

"There were people at Fox who wanted nothing to do with this," reveals Golfweek's source. "They were forced to do it."

The report adds: "A well-placed industry executive says LIV struck out with approaches to multiple broadcasters, including NBC, CBS, Disney, Apple and Amazon, and that Fox Sports got involved only at the behest of Lachlan Murdoch, the executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corp." 

It continues: "LIV requested a rights fee for year two of any deal and a guaranteed time slot on network television but both proposals were rejected by Fox, according to a source familiar with the specifics of the conversations.

"It is believed Fox has offered to re-evaluate network placement at a later date. LIV will also be responsible for the production of its tournament broadcasts and for selling commercial sponsorships during its time slots, two tasks that would usually fall to a broadcast partner."


How GolfMagic readers have reacted to the LIV / Fox rumour: 

"Needs to stay on YouTube"

"LOL they have to pay!"

"Buying time as opposed to being paid for covering it. Embarrassing and won't be long before they put a windmill down one of the fairways to hit the ball through."

"Do they actually have to buy the time? Like the whole thing is a commercial instead of a show? Still confused how this endeavour makes money."

"Hope they still do at least something on YouTube, maybe Featured Groups?"

Just two weeks ago, reports emerged that AppleTV turned down the opportunity to broadcast LIV Golf tournaments in 2023 because they considered it "too toxic".

In the last LIV Golf Chicago tournament, it is estimated that viewing figures peaked at around 95,000 as Open champion Cameron Smith went on to seal his first victory in just his second start on the circuit. 

Once viewing rights have been agreed, the next step for LIV Golf will be to ensure their tournaments start to receive Official World Golf Ranking points. 

As it stands, LIV Golf is shut out from receiving world ranking points, which has led all of the LIV Golf Tour players to send a signed letter to OWGR chairman Peter Dawson "urging" him for inclusion. 

Next Page: The real reason why PGA Tour players are waiting on LIV Golf