LIV Golf: Second Season Ratings Struggle Despite Team Profits, Launch of Streaming Service
LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed professional golf league, is back for its second season in 2023 and is hoping to gain momentum as its players compete in the majors. However, its latest TV ratings have not been promising. The CW's live broadcast of the LIV Golf League drew an average of 289,000 viewers and a 0.18 household rating on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, the opening round was exclusive to U.S. viewers, who could access it through the CW app and the league's official website. By comparison, the PGA Tour’s weekend broadcasts on NBC brought in more than two million viewers and averaged a 1.24 household rating.
Charles Howell III emerged victorious in the season-opening tournament in Mexico, finishing four shots ahead of the rest of the field. In his sixth start at LIV Golf, Howell earned a total of £4.13million ($5m); £3.3million ($4m) for winning the individual event and an additional £830,000 ($1m) for his team, the Crushers, taking the team victory.
The next event in LIV’s second season will be played at the Gallery Golf Club in Tucson, AZ on March 17. Viewing Friday rounds will only be possible through The CW app. The network will broadcast Saturday and Sunday programs.
Players will still be provided with an annual team salary, and there is potential for profit-sharing in the future. Each player is paid an annual salary by the team, and at year’s end bonuses and/or profit-sharing is a possibility, but this depends on how much the team earns and how much it spends.
LIV Golf is also launching its own streaming service across 180 global territories outside of the US. The introduction of the LIV Golf Plus streaming app ensures fans around the world will receive direct access to live and on-demand coverage of the league’s groundbreaking launch.
The decision to reinvest team winnings back into the organization appears to be part of a wider attempt to rein in the more lavish tendencies of some of the players. Following the LIV Golf Portland tournament in July, a video surfaced of 4 Aces celebrity Pat Perez having fun on a private plane. His wife Ashley posted on Instagram saying, “Absolutely the coolest plane ever. We partied our asses off the entire way drinking 3-5k bottles of wine it was fully stocked with.” We partied hard the entire time, consuming 3-5 thousand bottles of wine which were fully stocked.
0. “LIV Golf’s disaster laid bare as rebel league faces brutal truth” Fox Sports, 27 Feb. 2023, https://www.foxsports.com.au/golf/golf-news-2023-liv-golf-tv-ratings-pga-tour-phil-mickelson-dustin-johnson-who-won-news-updates/news-story/0bce6d5393fde049810723e7e0f2c4d2
1. “TV Ratings: The CW’s LIV Golf Debut Is Subpar” Hollywood Reporter, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/liv-golf-the-cw-tv-ratings-1235337688/
2. “LIV Golf's CW debut scores low ratings; Nexstar CEO bullish” ESPN, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/35755003/liv-golf-cw-debut-scores-low-ratings-nexstar-ceo-bullish
3. “LIV Golf's TV Ratings on The CW Are Latest Embarrassment for Saudi-Backed Series” InsideHook, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.insidehook.com/daily_brief/sports/liv-golf-tv-ratings-cw-embarrassment-series
4. “LIV Golf suffers fresh humiliation as more people tune in for World’s Funniest Animals” Express, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.express.co.uk/sport/golf/1740340/LIV-Golf-Worlds-Funniest-Animals-TV-viewership-CW-Network
5. “LIV Golf averages under 300,000 viewers for first tournament on The CW: How does that stack up?” The Athletic, 1 Mar. 2023, https://theathletic.com/4260965/2023/02/28/liv-golf-cw-tv-viewership/
6. “Joe Rose: No One at LIV Golf is Worried About Ratings” Barrett Sports Media, 28 Feb. 2023, https://barrettsportsmedia.com/2023/02/27/joe-rose-liv-golf-ratings/
7. “Report: LIV To Stop Paying Travel Expenses For Players And Caddies” Golf Monthly, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.golfmonthly.com/news/report-liv-to-stop-paying-travel-expenses-for-players-and-caddies