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The LIV Golf TV Deal with CW Network is Reportedly Very Real

Last Updated: January 18, 2023
According to beloved commentator David Feherty, what was once rumored and possibly a joke is about to be a reality — here’s what you need to know about LIV Golf and The CW.

The CW Network has long been known for teen dramas like Dawson’s Creek, Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, and currently Riverdale, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural. Golf doesn’t exactly fit the channel’s normal aesthetic or target demographic.

But The CW is going into golf by signing a broadcast deal with Saudi-owned LIV Golf, with a deal reportedly close to completion as of Tuesday afternoon according to golf commentator David Feherty and subsequently noted by several media outlets including the Palm Beach Post. Additional details are currently sparse, but there’s currently not expected to be a rights fee involved, with something closer to a revenue-sharing model expected to be used instead.

And while they don’t have a Serena van der Woodsen, Pacey Witter, or a Lorelai Gilmore on their roster, there were plenty of characters and drama in the first season of the breakaway competition to more-than-justify a LIV Golf TV deal with a US cable network.

Through its sovereign Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia has spent hundreds of millions luring established golf superstars like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau, ultimately getting into a heated war with the PGA Tour, which insisted that defectors would be banned from its events. Players left for LIV in not-insignificant numbers for eye-popping financial guarantees and never-before-seen prize pools thanks to the competition’s team format, 54-hole tournaments, shotgun starts, and no cuts.

(Charl Schwartzel won $4.75 million at LIV’s inaugural event at Centurion — far more than Scottie Scheffler’s $2.7 million payout for winning the 2022 Masters.)

This spurred a slew of changes from the PGA Tour to prevent further defection, with larger prize pools for key events and a stadium-style Monday Night Golf series led by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy debuting in 2024. Now, there are ongoing lawsuits and countersuits between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, whose COO, Atul Khsola, resigned in December. Meanwhile, LIV is set to expand to a 14-team format and an extended 2023 events schedule in February.

The biggest thing that was missing was a partner for a comprehensive LIV Golf TV deal — until (apparently) now.

After rumors of a big-money deal with Fox and no interest from fellow broadcasters CBS, NBC, ESPN, Apple, and Amazon, LIV has apparently settled on The CW, which Nexstar Media Group has a 75% stake in and Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount also have small stakes. The network has never been known for sports, nor does it court a demographic that overlaps with that of golf — but The CW’s distribution across the country is strong and will provide direct, televised competition to the PGA Tour under CEO Greg Norman.

Though it’s not One Tree Hill, LIV will certainly be providing the drama the network has long been known for.

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