LIV Golf execs: PGA Tour merger 'turbocharged' business

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Field Level Media
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Aug 13, 2023; Bedminster, New Jersey, USA; Marc Leishman looks over his putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the LIV Golf Bedminster golf tournament at Trump National Bedminster.
Aug 13, 2023; Bedminster, New Jersey, USA; Marc Leishman looks over his putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the LIV Golf Bedminster golf tournament at Trump National Bedminster.
Image: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The surprise announcement of a planned merger with the PGA Tour this summer did not derail LIV Golf but rather "turbocharged" business for the upstart circuit, executives told Golf.com.

"The day the announcement came out, my phone was flooded with calls," said Monica Fee, LIV's head of global partnerships. "Our conversations with prospective partners have been reinvigorated by the idea of coexistence, finally, in the marketplace."

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That enthusiasm apparently has boosted the efforts to find a major U.S. network partner for LIV, whose deal with the CW Network expires after the 2024 season.

"What's been interesting in the past few weeks is a reinvigorated sense of interest from the TV world," LIV chief media officer Will Staeger said. "We've set up conversations with all major networks around the world."

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Staeger strongly disagreed with predictions that a merger would spell the end for the Saudi-backed LIV.

"I'm not sure where that take is coming from," he told Golf.com. "You will not hear that from anyone at LIV or from our investor. We're excited about the future."

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who is heading up negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund chief Yasir Al-Rumayyan, has said that a definitive agreement is due by Dec. 31 at the latest.

In the meantime, Staeger said the marketplace support for LIV continues to grow.

"I would say it's not business as usual. It's turbocharged business as usual," he said.

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—Field Level Media