Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

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The Sport of golf has been in the public sports discussion more than usual over the last year. The reason is simple: LIV Golf. The PGA Tour’s rival has pumped in almost a billion dollars in their first year of operations. Huge names in the sport like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Cameron Smith have made the move to LIV. Each one of these guys have won Majors in the last 3 years, and are some of the biggest names in the sport, all with world wide appeal. LIV made news in January after securing a tv rights deal with The CW that has live LIV coverage on television on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. It seems like everything working nicely for the upstart tour. There is just one problem: nobody is watching LIV golf.

YouTube to The CW

In LIV’s inaugural season every shot was only available via free streams on YouTube. I can’t find hard data, but as someone who streamed many of the Friday rounds, I never saw the number go above 100,000. That doesn’t seem like a large number when the entire world is able to access it. But there was no way to know for sure how many people actually consumed the produce. Well, now we know that basically nobody is watch LIV Golf. At least not in America. The Saturday broadcast did a measly 0.2 rating. It wasn’t even the most successful broadcast on The CW this weekend. “World’s Funniest Animals” outdrew LIV Golf.

The Problem with LIV

In defense of LIV, it was a pretty bad leaderboard. But this is the problem with LIV golf. There is no incentive to bring your A game week in and week out. These guys are competitive and want to win when they show up to a tournament. But are they competitive enough to keep their game sharp in the offseason? When Cam Smith has a rumored $100 million in the back is he really going to go to the range every single morning? I think the answer is becoming more obvious. LIV really needs one of their big named players in their prime to contend a win a Major to put this notion to bed. Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, and Brooks Koepka will show up to Augusta with these questions to answer.

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LIV Golf Television Contract Announced

LIV Golf continues to shake up the golf world. In their latest step towards legitimacy in the US, the tour announced their new television contract. LIV Golf announced their television and streaming agreement with the CW, that is a “multi-year deal”. The length of the contract is not known yet, as is the price CW paid to LIV Golf. The tour announced that all Friday rounds will be shown exclusively on The CW App, with Saturday and Sunday rounds being shown on the CW. Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf said the following.

“This is a momentous day for LIV Golf as this partnership is about more than just media rights. The CW will provide accessibility for our fans and maximum exposure for our athletes and partners as their reach includes more than 120 million households across the United States,”

LIV Golf Can Compete

LIV Golf broadcast their inaugural season entirely on YouTube. And the results we’re not good. This could be due to the demographic of the golf viewer. This is an older demographic that might not be familiar with streaming live sporting events on YouTube. Now LIV gets it’s shot to go head to head with the PGA Tour on a traditional cable channel. CW is not a traditional sports network. So it might take some time for golf fans to find the channel. But at least it will show up on the guide when scrolling on a Sunday afternoon.

LIV Golf Schedule- Update

LIV Golf has expanded their schedule for 2023. The tour is increasing the number of events from 8 to 14, and now we know the LIV Golf schedule as the entire 203 schedule has been announced.

  • Feb. 24-26: El Camaleon Golf Club, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

  • March 17-19: The Gallery Golf Club, Tucson, Arizona

  • March 31-April 2: Orange County National (Crooked Cat), Orlando, Florida

  • April 21-23: The Grange Golf Club, Adelaide, Australia

  • April 28-30: Sentosa Golf Club (Serapong Course), Singapore

  • May 12-14: Cedar Ridge Country Club, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

  • May 26-28: Trump National Golf Club, Washington, D.C.

  • June 30-July 2: Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain

  • July 7-9: Centurion Club, London, England

  • Aug. 4-6: The Old White Course, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

  • Aug. 11-13: Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, New Jersey

  • Sept. 22-24: Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Illinois

  • Oct. 20-22: Trump National Doral, Miami, Florida

  • Nov. 3-5: Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia