November 27, 2022

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LIV Golf reportedly will pay Fox Sports to broadcast its tournaments | Golf Leaf Series

LIV Golf is close to concluding an agreement with US cable television network Fox Sports 1 to purchase airtime for its tournaments, Golfweek mentioned Wednesday, citing multiple sources.

Since the start-up professional golf course funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund was officially announced, it has been operating without a TV deal, instead streaming its events for free on YouTube and Facebook, despite an initial spending of more than $1 billion to catch some. One of the biggest sports names from the PGA Tour.

While the vast majority of major sports organizations sell their broadcast rights as a block to media companies for a large upfront fee, the reported deal will see LIV golf He paid for his airtime with the goal of offsetting costs by selling their commercial sponsorship contracts.

If the LIV Golf deal with Fox Sports 1 is approved, it will also be required to comply with a US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirement enacted in March that requires broadcasters to disclose when foreign governments or their representatives lease time on their own airwaves.

A representative of LIV Golf described the Golfweek report as “incomplete and inaccurate” when contacted by The Guardian but declined to comment on the potential effects of FCC regulations, which require broadcast-time disclosure if a foreign government entity pays a radio or television station, directly or indirectly. , broadcast material.

“LIV Golf has exceeded expectations and remains ahead of the schedule across many fronts, including broadcast rights,” the spokesperson said. “As previously mentioned, LIV Golf has just started its operation and is in active discussions with several companies about broadcasting the LIV Golf League. We caution that no one should come to any conclusions about potential media rights given that we are still in the middle of negotiations with many ports”.

Critics have accused the Saudi government of using its $2 billion investment to sterilize the kingdom’s poor human rights record, its alleged link to the 9/11 attacks, the severe crackdown on women’s and gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights, and the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 since the separation. The round of golf was announced six months ago.

LIV Golf will be responsible for producing its own broadcast programming as well as selling its own advertising, a “good industry executive” told Golfweek.

The source also said that LIV Golf had sought to secure a partnership with a number of other potential streaming partners, but it had been rejected by NBC, CBS, Disney, Apple and Amazon. The Fox Sports CEO said its participation was only at the request of Lachlan Murdoch, CEO and CEO of Fox Corp.

The CEO disputed expectations made by LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, who recently told ESPN that he was talking with four different networks about traditional broadcast rights deals.

The potential Fox Sports deal is a reversal of the standard model and is rare in today’s sports television ecosystem but not entirely without precedent. In 2015, influential boxing manager Al Haymon, backed by more than $425 million in institutional capital, launched the Premier Boxing Champions Series with Pay $20 million to purchase airtime for 20 shows on NBC and NBC Sports Network.

However, the PBC deal included co-investment from the NBC family in the form of co-production costs, on-air talent, and promotional assets.

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