HomeGolfLIV Golf Got Absolutely Trounced In TV Ratings This Weekend

LIV Golf Got Absolutely Trounced In TV Ratings This Weekend

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The LIV Golf league pulled off its biggest coup in the war with the PGA Tour recently when it poached multiple-time major-winner Jon Rahm. Rahm also brought with him one of the tour’s most underrated players, Tyrell Hatton. 

Those two joined Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson as big name, top shelf talents on the upstart league. LIV has also embraced a number of forward-thinking initiatives like music during rounds, no cut events and shorter tournaments ensuring full participation from big-name players. 

But if television ratings are any indication, all the efforts aren’t working. At least if their goal is to pull viewership and the associated revenue.

According to Sports Media Watch, the closing round of the LIV Golf Las Vegas tournament Saturday finished 51st in the ratings. Out of sports programs. It drew roughly 20,000 fewer viewers than the Kansas State-BYU basketball game, and roughly the same as the Golf Central PGA tour pregame show.

That’s despite Rahm playing in just his second major tournament, at Las Vegas Country Club, the day before the Super Bowl. The WM Phoenix Open meanwhile, was the third rated sports TV show. LIV was 51st.

LIV Golf Hurt PGA Tour, Didn’t Help Itself

How is the LIV model remotely sustainable? 

Despite bringing in hordes of new players, including one of the 3-4 biggest names in golf, it’s barely made a dent in television ratings. Attendance seems to be improving, marginally, but there was no national discussion around the Las Vegas tournament results in the same way there is about major PGA events. And of course, there’s the break down between the two tours in terms of reuniting.

READ: Scottie Scheffler Latest To Disagree With Rory McIlroy’s Asinine Comments About LIV Golfers Returning To Tour

Unfortunately for LIV, unless it manages to pull every big name player; McIlroy, Spieth, Thomas, Scheffler, Morikawa and of course, Tiger Woods, it’s hard to see how the ratings improve over where they are now. There’s simply no history or significance behind the LIV tournaments; an advantage the PGA is able to exploit.

What the LIV experiment seems to have done is hurt the PGA Tour by decreasing interest in non-Major events. Though it hasn’t really made the case that it’s a viable long-term league on its own. Offering massive bonuses and “team equity” seems to have been enough to grab some big name stars. But it’s hard to see how it’s a sustainable business model in the long run. If that’s what the Saudi-backed league even cares about in the first place.

 

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