LIV Golf left red-faced on U.S. TV debut as more people watch funny animals show

The LIV Golf TV rating for the league's debut on network television is out and figures confirmed a poor start for the breakaway tour on The CW.

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 27 Feb 2023
LIV Golf left red-faced on U.S. TV debut as more people watch funny animals show

There is absolutely no denying the first season of the LIV Golf was about pure disruption. 

The breakaway tour snatched a bunch of muckrakers and streamed all 12 of their lucrative invitationals for free on YouTube and their website in what Bryson DeChambeau described as their 'beta test' year. 

But at this point in time it seems 2023 will be absolutely crucial as to whether the LIV Golf League truly has legs. 

Will people truly buy into the team concept? More importantly, will people watch?

Related: 'Crazy' details emerge of LIV players' contracts

As PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan declared last year: "It's now product versus product". 

Charles Howell III claimed the first LIV Golf League event of the year with a dominating Sunday performance at the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleón in Mayakoba, Mexico. 

It was the first time LIV Golf had broadcast to U.S. households on The CW. 

The aforementioned Norman hailed the much-needed deal as a 'momentous' occasion for the breakaway tour when the partnership was announced in mid-January. 

The multi-year deal represented The CW's first foray into sports programming. 

So how exactly did LIV's first broadcast go? 

The results are in and they aren't good at all, according to a report. 

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal has reported LIV's Mayakoba event drew only a 0.2 rating on Saturday for its network TV debut in 26 measured markets. 

That means that out of the measured households, only 0.2 per cent watched the first day coverage. 

It doesn't sound great.

It was also pointed out by Golf Digest reporter Joel Beall that another CW show, World's Funniest Animals, attracted a larger audience than the 'rebel' league. 

In a now deleted Tweet, PGA Tour pro Jason Day asked how many people had tuned into the PGA Tour's Honda Classic coverage. 

Day has previously been quoted as saying he would be open to a move to LIV, but not just yet

See here: 

There is absolutely no denying that LIV Golf now has a lot of firepower on their roster with multiple major champions. 

Capturing the likes of Cameron Smith, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka coupled with the mystery and intrigue of LIV drew large audience figures earlier on. 

But audience numbers dwindled. 

LIV also failed to sign another marquee name in the off-season. The highest-ranked player they signed for a reported $10m was Thomas Pieters.  

Pieters insisted his angry message about his omission from Tiger Woods' Genesis Invitational had nothing to do with his decision to join. 

Next page: Tiger's agent dumps LIV player