Fox Sports ‘has edge over media rivals for LIV Golf’s first TV deal’ six years after the network FIRED the Saudi-backed PGA foe’s CEO Greg Norman as a broadcaster and two decades after his failed World Golf Cup launch with network boss Rupert Murdoch
- LIV Golf is in discussions with ‘virtually every major media company’ on a TV deal
LIV Golf is in discussions with ‘virtually every major media company’ on a new television deal, according to the PGA Tour’s Saudi-backed rival – but it is Fox Sports that reportedly has an edge over the competition.
Front Office Sports is reporting that inside sources have Fox as the current favorite, although LIV’s chief media officer Will Staeger stopped short of commenting that specifically. Instead, Staeger told FOS that the upstart golf circuit is auctioning its rights to top media outlets.
‘We want exposure,’ Staeger told FOS. ‘We want broad viewership. We want to be on a platform where viewers are accustomed to watching sports.’
LIV Golf chief executive officer Greg Norman confirmed the discussions to ESPN 1000 Chicago on Wednesday, telling the radio station that ‘the interest coming across our plate right now is enormous.’
On one hand, Fox Sports seems like a natural fit for LIV Golf, considering Norman’s reported relationship with fellow Australian Rupert Murdoch, who owns the network. FOS also reports that Murdoch has a relationship with LIV consultant David Hill, a highly regarded sports television producer and another Australian.
In fact, the three collaborated on the failed World Golf Tour in the mid-1990s — a circuit that bears striking similarities to the PGA’s current rival, LIV Golf.
However, Norman did have a bad breakup with Fox Sports in 2015, when he felt he was blamed for disappointing coverage of that year’s US Open.
‘I felt like I got rolled under the bus,’ he told FOS in 2021.
LIV Golf is in discussions with ‘virtually every major media company’ on a new television deal, according to the PGA Tour’s Saudi-backed rival – but it is Fox Sports that reportedly has an edge over the competition. Fox Sports seems like a natural fit for LIV Golf, considering Norman’s relationship with fellow Australian Rupert Murdoch (right), who owns the network
Joe Buck, Brad Faxon and Greg Norman, Fox Sports TV Analysts, are seen on set during rehearsal prior to the start of the 115th US Open Championship at Chambers Bay on June 17, 2015 in University Place, Washington. Norman was later fired by Fox Sports
Thus far, both Amazon and Apple have declined to pursue streaming deals for LIV Golf,
Amazon and Apple have both declined to pursue deals for the media rights to air the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament, leaving the controversial endeavor without an obvious media partner and few options on the table.
It has been similarly reported that major networks including ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC have passed on potential deals with tournament executives.
The tournament, which has split the world of professional golf into two distinct camps, and those affiliated with it, have been accused of using the sport to paint over Saudi Arabia’s negative human-rights record, including the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Executives with LIV told the Wall Street Journal that this year the tournament wanted to make its events available to the public free of charge in order to prove the legitimacy of its product. Its first several events have been accessible free of charge on YouTube and LIV’s website.
But now the question is whether the tournament will be able to lock in a big name media rights partner ahead of its first full season in 2023.