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February 25, 2024

LIV Golf’s poor TV ratings spell trouble

By Alabama Golf News Staff
Jon Rahm LIV Golf

Despite splashing out on big names like Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, LIV Golf is struggling to attract viewers, according to the latest findings, the website The Irish Star reported.

From the Irish Star:

Rahm, the current Masters champion, joined the breakaway league last month after being offered a deal worth a mouth-watering amount of money and Hatton followed him with a $63 million move.

These new stars seeemingly haven’t brought in the viewers. The final round of LIV Las Vegas only had 297,000 viewers on the CW, making it 51st for all sports programs that day. It was tied with the Golf Central pregame show before PGA Tour coverage began.

On the other hand, the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open had a massive 1.7 million viewers, ranking third in sports programming for the day.

Even when the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was stopped because of bad weather, LIV Golf’s Mayakoba event still couldn’t beat a CBS Sunday re-run of the third round of the PGA Tour event, which brought in three times as many viewers.

It seems fans are more drawn to the history, tradition and legacy of the PGA Tour. LIV Golf is finding it hard to attract viewers, which greatly impacts its ability to secure a broadcast partner for early tournament coverage.

LIV tied with Golf Central in ratings

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund may not be willing to keep offering big money to top players if it doesn’t bring in viewers, given LIV’s business model. LIV shares its revenue with the CW, which shows the final two rounds of each event. But the first round is shown on YouTube and the CW app – so no TV money is made for a third of the tournament.

Last year, LIV Golf made about £2.4m from TV, while the PGA Tour made over £400m. This could be because the PGA Tour’s venues and tournaments are well-respected and have a long history, compared to LIV Golf’s new format which hasn’t really excited fans; players are playing for teams that most fans dont have any sort of attachment to.

The next two LIV Golf events, happening in Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong next month, might not get more viewers, as they will be on at times that don’t necessarily suit large parts of the western world.

LIV Houston will be at the same time as the Memorial Tournament, while LIV Nashville will be on at the same time as the Travelers Championship. At the same time as the Genesis Scottish Open, there’s LIV Andalucia. Also, LIV Greenbrier will be up against the FedEx St. Jude.

Discussions about a merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf are still ongoing, but they’re currently being affected by U.S. Government intervention. Meanwhile, The PGA Tour recently approved a £2.4 billion investment deal with Strategic Sports Group. This deal will give nearly 200 PGA Tour members the opportunity to hold equity in PGA Tour Enterprises. It’s a reward for staying loyal and not joining LIV Golf.

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Featured image of Jon Rahm courtesy of

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