LIV Golf's CW debut scores low rankings; Nexstar CEO bullish

The LIV Golf League promised to be “golf however louder,” however tv rankings for its season opener in Mexico final weekend recommended few of us have been listening or watching.

The CW’s inaugural stay broadcast of the LIV Golf League drew a imply of 289,000 viewers and a zero.18 household rating on Saturday and Sunday. The opening spherical on Friday was solely out there to U.S. viewers on the CW app and the league’s official internet website.

talking to reporters all by way of an earnings name Tuesday, Perry Sook — CEO of Nexstar, The CW’s dad or mum agency — mentioned it was nonetheless a very good start for the circuit, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public funding Fund and fronted by two-time Open Championship winner Greg Norman.

Sook informed reporters that 1.4 million of us watched a minimal of a pair of minutes of the LIV Golf League match at Mayakoba, both throughout The CW broadcast community or on the CW app.

“these numbers exceeded our expectations, and, most significantly, the associates as properly as to our personal stations have been thrilled,” Sook mentioned. “i do know that our associates and CW associates inside the best 10 markets generated about three instances the sum of money that the community generated for this principal outing, and so it is promoting very properly, and, you already know, and that i really feel will proceed to develop as we get extra into the season and extra involved.”

LIV Golf’s rankings did not come shut to matching these of the PGA Tour’s Honda traditional, which, for Saturday and Sunday, averaged about 593,000 viewers on the Golf Channel and about 2 million viewers on NBC.

With the Honda traditional sandwiched between 4 of the PGA Tour’s largest occasions, so a lot of the tour’s extreme stars did not play inside the match. the actuality is, not thought-about one of the best 17 gamers on the planet competed inside the opening event of the tour’s Florida swing, with most specializing in two upcoming designated occasions, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the gamers Championship. The Honda traditional’s weak discipline was thought-about one of many causes LIV Golf decided to stage its first event final week.

There a minimal of was some drama inside the Honda traditional: Chris Kirk defeated rookie Eric Cole in a playoff Sunday to win for the principal time in virtually eight years.

There wasn’t virtually as a lot intrigue in Mexico: Charles Howell III gained the particular person title by 4 strokes, and his Crushers GC squad gained the group title by 9 photographs.

Tiger Woods‘ return Feb. sixteen-19 on the Genesis, after a layoff of virtually seven months, averaged three.12 million viewers on CBS on the weekend, a 32% enhance from the identical event in 2022. ultimate-spherical safety drew a 2.1 rating and a imply of three.forty two million viewers.

it is LIV Golf’s second yr of opponents, and it has signed a quantity of former PGA Tour stars, collectively with Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Cameron Smith. The inaugural season’s occasions have been broadcast on YouTube, the league’s official internet website and streaming service DAZN.

Brandon Katz, an leisure enterprise strategist with Parrot Analytics, mentioned it is too early to know whether or not LIV Golf and The CW shall be a worthwhile partnership.

“that is the CW’s first foray into stay sports activities,” Katz informed ESPN. “They’re doing it with an embryonic sports activities league. It takes a very very prolonged time to type and situation viewership habits amongst audiences. individuals aren’t used to associating The CW with stay sports activities, so there might even be going to be a runway, a transitional interval, as they try to familiarize their viewers and the viewers they’re hoping to discover with this new huge offering. to confirm them to PGA numbers at this earlier juncture is a troublesome swallow.”

Katz mentioned that linear sports activities proceed to be the No. 1 gateway for linear tv and more and more for streaming companies and that sports activities are nonetheless larger sights than scripted sequence and utterly different leisure choices.

“clearly, that is an upstart league attempting to deal with an incumbent, and that is going to take time and money,” Katz mentioned. “all of us know they’ve a huge monetary runway. i really feel what you’d like to see is development over these occasions for the principal yr. you’d undoubtedly want to see match-over-match will enhance. i really feel it takes a very very prolonged time to decide a mannequin new league and make it doable for the audiences are conscious and the exact audiences you’d like to increase into are conscious.”

LIV Golf’s subsequent event is in Tucson, Arizona, March 17-19. it would go head-to-head in opposition to the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship, which might be a non-designated match.


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