According to reports, the controversial LIV Golf is preparing a big contract to broadcast its events on television. However, the report claimed that the series would pay the networks for screen time instead of getting paid.
The Saudi-backed multimillion-dollar series is planning to expand its viewership and the network deal seems like the best move.
LIV Golf has signed 12 of the top 50 players in the world. The series reportedly signed the big names for millions. Moreover, each of the series’ events has huge prize purses, raising its claim to being the biggest golf series in the world.
However, LIV is televised and can only be seen on YouTube, Facebook, and its website.
Will LIV pay Fox Sports for airtime?
As per a report from Golfweek, LIV is now ready to pay broadcasters for screentime on television. The report, which came out on Tuesday night, cited multiple sources who claimed that the rebel series was closing in on a deal to buy airtime on Fox Sports.
According to sources, LIV Golf’s events will be broadcast on FS1 if the deal is finalized. However, it is far from done.
LIV has successfully completed five events so far. The controversial series is on track to expand to 14 tournaments in 2023.
As per the Golfweek report, the series will finalize an agreement with Fox Sports in the coming months to ensure the entire season of the 54-hole shotgun-start tournament is televised. However, the report claimed that LIV would be paying the network rather than receiving the payment.
As per the report, LIV will buy airtime by paying a rights fee for year two of a deal, as well as a guaranteed time slot for its airings. This is atypical in the sports world. A Golfweek source also claimed that LIV itself would be responsible for production and ad sales.
While this seems possible, it goes completely against what LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman has said in the past. He had earlier claimed that the series was in talks with four media networks for a partnership deal.
LIV Golf dismisses claims of buying airtime
Only a day after the Golfweek report, LIV Golf has come out to dismiss it. The Saudi-backed series issued a statement rubbishing claims that it was in talks with Fox Sports to buy airtime to televise its events. The statement claimed that the report was “incomplete and inaccurate.”
The LIV statement said:
“As we have stated previously, LIV Golf is just beginning its process and is in active discussions with several companies about broadcasting the LIV Golf League. We caution that no one should draw any conclusions about potential media rights given that we are still in the middle of negotiations with several outlets.”
While speculation continues on the matter, Fox Sports has yet to comment on it. It is pertinent to note that the PGA Tour has signed agreements with CBS, NBC, Golf Channel, and ESPN+ to televise its events.
The media rights of the American circuit were sold for an estimated $7 billion in the nine-year deal.
Attaining such a valuation will be tough for the newly introduced LIV Golf. However, it will still be looking for a similar deal with the network.
Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that LIV had approached Apple and Amazon with its media rights. However, the company reportedly turned down the deal.