LIV Golf Kicks Off Second Season With Record Viewership and Prize Money
LIV Golf, a Saudi-backed renegade golf tour, kicked off its second season over the weekend. The opening tournament, which was won by Charles Howell III, drew an average of 289,000 viewers and a 0.18 household rating on Saturday and Sunday. This marks a significant increase from the viewership of LIV's opening 2022 season, which only had 350,000 views over its new app, LIV Golf Plus.
The CW Network's local market ratings for the time period increased by double digits in ten top U.S. markets compared to their year-to-date weekend averages for the time period. In addition, The CW’s weekend primetime national ratings were up +24% among total viewers compared to the network’s weekend season to date average.
The person who wins each event will receive $4 million, and the victorious team will receive an additional $3 million to be split among the players, with each player getting $750,000. The individual who finishes in last place, 48th, will receive $120,000. The winner of the Team Championship takes home $16 million, or $4 million per player.
LIV Golf is owned and operated by LIV Golf Investments, which is majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The company’s mission is to make holistic and sustainable investments to enhance the global golf ecosystem and unlock the sport’s untapped worldwide potential.
The controversial golf tour has seen some pushback from golf fans. Many are questioning the motives behind LIV Golf and disagree with its funding from Saudi Arabia. Others worry that the tour will take away from the existing PGA Tour, which has been the dominant force in professional golf for decades. It remains to be seen whether LIV Golf will be successful, but it certainly has made an impact on the professional golf landscape.
0. “LIV Golf, the PGA's Saudi-backed rival, struggles for viewers in TV debut” The Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2023/02/28/liv-ratings-cw
1. “LIV Golf reports 3.2 million viewers for opening event in Mexico, a stark difference from early reports” Golfweek, 3 Mar. 2023, https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2023/03/03/liv-golf-report-tv-ratings-cw-viewers-mayakoba
2. “LIV Golf counter poor TV ratings claim: ‘We exceeded expectations'” National Club Golfer, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.nationalclubgolfer.com/news/liv-golf-counter-viewer-figures/
3. “LIV Golf prize money: How much will the players earn in 2023?” The Independent, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/golf/liv-golf-prize-money-2023-tucson-b2291192.html
4. “THE CW NETWORK AND LIV GOLF GARNER OVER 3.2M VIEWERS” LIV Golf, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.livgolf.com/news/the-cw-network-and-liv-golf-league-garner-over-3-2-million-viewers
5. “Amidst Having Disappointing TV Rating With CW, LIV Golf Announces Another Major Update” EssentiallySports, 27 Feb. 2023, https://www.essentiallysports.com/golf-news-amidst-having-disappointing-tv-rating-with-cw-liv-golf-announces-another-major-update/