LIV Golf has the United States TV distribution deal it has sought, and the Saudi-backed product will air on network TV -- on The CW.
The two parties announced on Jan. 19 that they have reached a multi-year agreement for LIV Golf events to air domestically on The CW, which is the fifth-largest network in the country and available in 120 million US homes through a network of 220 affiliate stations and eight owned-and-operated stations.
Nexstar Media Group, which owns 75 percent of The CW, owns, operates, programs or provides sales to 200 owned and partner stations in 16 US markets. Nexstar also owns NewsNation (formerly WGN America).
Multiple outlets have reported the agreement is a revenue-share deal, with LIV Golf continuing to produce and pay for their broadcasts. The CW will air the Saturday and Sunday rounds for LIV Golf's 14 planned events, making it available to affiliates. The Friday rounds will stream on The CW app.
LIV Golf will no longer stream their events on YouTube. Throughout the course of the LIV Golf Invitational Series in 2022, the YouTube audience grew for the initial three events before declining substantially into the season-ending team event at Trump National Doral in Florida, which registered a modest audience.
The CW registers primetime ratings that are approximately 5-10 percent of those of their peer broadcast networks, with an average primetime first-run audience of 457,000 for their 14 shows. The returning programming from last season has seen an average drop of 18.5 percent in viewership compared to last season. LIV Golf averaged 482,000 worldwide viewers of their streamed rounds on YouTube in 2022, including views after their live airing.
LIV Golf is expected to announce its full schedule and full roster of 48 players -- which will remain constant throughout the LIV Golf League season -- for their 2023 schedule in the coming days.