The LIV Golf tour may finally have a broadcast partner, and it’s every bit as bootleg as you’d imagine for a league that stays putting the cart before the horse. According to reports, the Saudi-funded golf league is nearing a deal with the CW. Yes, that’s right. The network that brought you The Flash, the frog, and other C-list programming could be dipping its toe into sports.
Updated Thursday, Jan. 19, at 10:09 a.m.: LIV Golf and the CW reached a multi-year U.S. broadcast television and streaming agreement.
The deal was first hinted at by David Feherty, who joined the tour to fill the role of token, weird, non-threatening golf TV personality. That gave it enough credence for Sports Illustrated to run with it because we don’t need another Fox Sports rumor.
That rumor, which Immortal Joe CEO Greg Norman shot down, said the golf league would have to pay the network to air its funhouse tournaments while providing its own TV production crew. That’s apparently not the case with a potential LIV-CW partnership. However, a GOLF story said the deal is rumored to be worth considerably less than what other major sports get for their live TV rights.
If you’ve been following the LIV-PGA drama, it’s not a surprise that it appears LIV is taking pennies on the dollar to get their product on TV. No one wants to touch the radioactive sports upstart because of its association with Saudi Arabia and the heaps of problematic baggage that come with being in business with the crown prince.
Putting a little spin on this shank
Despite the cloud of cancer-inducing chemicals that are sure to come out of Norman’s mouth spinning this deal as a positive for the league, it’s not ideal. Yes, the CW has a national reach, a young audience demo, and shiny new owners, Nexstar. That doesn’t mean the same group that enjoys The Flash or All-American is going to stay tuned to watch Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson play Acey Ducey while Feherty makes obscure jokes that no one understands.
Also, if you’re wondering, “What is Nexstar? They sound like a real-life Waystar Royco.” You’d be absolutely correct. The media company owns a litany of local news stations, and has seen a bevy of departures since taking over the CW due to concerns about management making the decision to lean right. Some of the employees left of their own volition, and others were laid off as the company tries to streamline its business model. And many of those low-key popular TV shows that attracted young people are either ending or being discontinued as part of the new direction.
Basically, it’s an ideal match for the two companies after a long search for that certain someone detestable. Like when uncle Jack met his third wife in a PizzaGate Facebook group. Nobody in their right mind wants to visit them in Fort Lauderdale — or tune into the CW to watch the LIV — but at least they’ve found each other.