LIV Golf ‘to buy airtime on Fox Sports after networks balked at tour’s first TV deal backed by Saudi Arabia’

Instead of selling its broadcast rights, the new LIV Golf tour will buy airtime on Fox Sports 1 to broadcast its competitions.

The Saudi-backed golf series is poised to pay airtime to the Rupert Murdoch-owned sports network after NBC, CBS, ESPN, Apple and Amazon refused to buy LIV Golf’s first media deal. , said several sources. golf week. A source added that Fox Sports only got involved at the urging of Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s son and CEO of Fox Corp.

“There were people at Fox who wanted nothing to do with this,” the source told Golfweek. They were forced to do it.

Team Captain Cameron Smith of Punch GC poses with LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman after winning the individual title during day three of the LIV Golf Invitational - Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 18

Team Captain Cameron Smith of Punch GC poses with LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman after winning the individual title during day three of the LIV Golf Invitational – Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 18

Hy Flyers GC team captain Phil Mickelson putts on the 18th green during day two of the LIV Golf Invitational - Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 17, 2022 in Sugar Grove, Illinois.  LIV Golf events have been free to the public as the tour hopes to build a following

Hy Flyers GC team captain Phil Mickelson putts on the 18th green during day two of the LIV Golf Invitational - Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 17, 2022 in Sugar Grove, Illinois.  LIV Golf events have been free to the public as the tour hopes to build a following

Hy Flyers GC team captain Phil Mickelson putts on the 18th green during day two of the LIV Golf Invitational – Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 17, 2022 in Sugar Grove, Illinois. LIV Golf events have been free to the public as the tour hopes to build a following

This latest development comes after Greg Norman, the legendary PGA player turned CEO of LIV Golf, gave a very different picture of the negotiations to ESPN.

“We’re talking to four different networks and live conversations where offers are being put on the table,” he told ESPN two weeks ago. They can see what we are delivering.

LIV Golf has been at the center of controversy in the golfing world, not only because it has been paying PGA players to defect, but also because the new tour is funded by the regime’s controversial Public Investment Fund. Saudi Arabia.

That’s the same fund that provided $2 billion to a private equity firm owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, in 2021. Kushner has since attempted to broker a media rights deal on behalf of LIV Golf, but never. finished nothing, according to an article from August Sports business magazine.

“A phone call,” a source familiar with the call told SBJ. Totally casual. It took very little time to make a presentation.

A Kushner spokesperson told DailyMail.com that he would verify that report with his client before commenting.

LIV Golf is also connected to Trump through its courses. He has already hosted a tour event at his club in New Jersey and will host the season finale at his club in Miami next month.

Former US President Donald J. Trump (left), Saudi businessman Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan (center) and Jared Kushner (right) watch the first round of the LIV Golf Bedminster Invitational, part of the new LIV Golf Invitational Series, at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ

Former US President Donald J. Trump (left), Saudi businessman Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan (center) and Jared Kushner (right) watch the first round of the LIV Golf Bedminster Invitational, part of the new LIV Golf Invitational Series, at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ

Former US President Donald J. Trump (left), Saudi businessman Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan (center) and Jared Kushner (right) watch the first round of the LIV Golf Bedminster Invitational, part of the new LIV Golf Invitational Series, at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ

LIV Golf has been at the center of controversy in the golfing world, not only because it has been paying PGA players to defect, but also because the new tour is funded by the regime's controversial Public Investment Fund. Saudi Arabia.  That's the same fund that provided $2 billion to a private equity firm owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, in 2021. Kushner has since attempted to broker a media rights deal on behalf of LIV Golf, but never.  finished nothing, according to an August article in the Sports Business Journal

LIV Golf has been at the center of controversy in the golfing world, not only because it has been paying PGA players to defect, but also because the new tour is funded by the regime's controversial Public Investment Fund. Saudi Arabia.  That's the same fund that provided $2 billion to a private equity firm owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, in 2021. Kushner has since attempted to broker a media rights deal on behalf of LIV Golf, but never.  finished nothing, according to an August article in the Sports Business Journal

LIV Golf has been at the center of controversy in the golfing world, not only because it has been paying PGA players to defect, but also because the new tour is funded by the regime’s controversial Public Investment Fund. Saudi Arabia. That’s the same fund that provided $2 billion to a private equity firm owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, in 2021. Kushner has since attempted to broker a media rights deal on behalf of LIV Golf, but never. finished nothing, according to an August article in the Sports Business Journal

The first season of LIV Golf has been played without a media contract. Instead, LIV has been showcasing their team tournaments on their own website and on YouTube. Circuit executives previously told the Wall Street Journal that the events were made free to the public so the tour could prove its legitimacy with fans and networks alike.

That plan fell through as major US networks and streaming services pulled out of LIV Golf, not least according to Golfweek and the Journal.

Buying airtime is not unheard of in sports.

Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), a televised boxing series, helped gain a following by buying airtime from various networks, including Fox, NBC, and CBS.

Fox Sports TV analysts Joe Buck, Brad Faxon and Greg Norman are seen on set during rehearsal prior to the start of the 115th US Open Championship in Chambers Bay on June 17, 2015 at University Place, Washington.  Norman was later fired by Fox Sports

Fox Sports TV analysts Joe Buck, Brad Faxon and Greg Norman are seen on set during rehearsal prior to the start of the 115th US Open Championship in Chambers Bay on June 17, 2015 at University Place, Washington.  Norman was later fired by Fox Sports

Fox Sports TV analysts Joe Buck, Brad Faxon and Greg Norman are seen on set during rehearsal prior to the start of the 115th US Open Championship in Chambers Bay on June 17, 2015 at University Place, Washington. Norman was later fired by Fox Sports

On the one hand, Fox Sports seems to be a perfect fit for LIV Golf, considering Norman’s alleged relationship with fellow Australian Rupert Murdoch, who owns the network. receiving sports reports that Murdoch is in a relationship with LIV consultant David Hill, a highly regarded sports television producer and another Australian.

In fact, the three collaborated on the unsuccessful World Golf Tour in the mid-1990s, a circuit that bears striking similarities to current PGA rival LIV Golf.

By contrast, Norman had a bad break with Fox Sports in 2015, when he felt he was being blamed for the disappointing coverage of that year’s US Open.

“I felt like I had been rolled under the bus,” he told FOS in 2021 of his net shot.

The PGA Tour’s bitter rivalry with the LIV has been golf’s biggest rivalry since the new tour was launched with funding from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which also owns Newcastle United of the English Premier League. Saudi Arabia has allocated at least $2.4 billion for LIV Golf, according to reports.

Controversy immediately erupted as the PGA Tour banished defectors such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Australian sensation Cameron Smith, all of whom have been criticized for taking millions from a country that has been widely criticized for human rights violations.

Litigation is ongoing involving both the PGA and European tours over the banishment of LIV golfers from those established circuits. On Tuesday, Mickelson and Ian Poulter were among four LIV players who filed a motion to have their names removed from the lawsuit, which LIV Golf and three others are still pursuing: Bryson DeChambeau, Peter Uihlein and Matt Jones.

Signs go up at the LIV golf tournament on Thursday, September 15 in Sugar Grove, Illinois

Signs go up at the LIV golf tournament on Thursday, September 15 in Sugar Grove, Illinois

Signs go up at the LIV golf tournament on Thursday, September 15 in Sugar Grove, Illinois

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