As many of the best LIV Golf members shine during the PGA Championship leaderboard, officials for the top competitor to the PGA Tour have now taken measures to avoid future instances of potential embarrassment over their low television ratings.
Led by CEO Greg Norman, the Saudi-backed golf league has been partnered with the CW to broadcasts its tournaments in the United States The CW Network inked a multi-year deal with the tournament, agreeing to broadcast all 14 events this season both on broadcast television and the CW app.
However, network officials and Norman haven’t seen the television ratings they were hoping for. When LIV Golf releases its last ratings report in March, the league’s documents revealed to the public that its audience slipped 24 percent week-over-week.
For comparison, the season-opening LIV Golf tournament in Mexico averaged 537,000 average viewers. However, that audience shared dipped to 409,000 for the league’s first event of the year in the United States.
In the weeks since, the CW has broadcasted tournaments in Australia and Singapore on tape delay. Furthermore, since the first two events on the LIV Golf schedule, television ratings have not been provided by the league.
LIV sources confirmed to GOLF.com this week that the league will no longer be disclosing its television ratings for the United States. It didn’t provide an explanation for the decision, but made it clear that the policy of not disclosing the size of its television audience would be the policy moving forward.
The decision comes at a time when the CW is seemingly shifting its audience to other things. Right before the 2023 LIV Golf Tulsa went into a three-way playoff in May, the CW dropped the broadcast and switched it to an episode of Pen & Teller in multiple markets.
When LIV closes out its season with the final event at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in Saudia Arabia, the CW will air the team championship on a tape delay. The network’s partnership with LIV is scheduled to end after the 2024 season. Financial terms of the deal were never disclosed.
As of April 2023, per GOLF.com, the PGA Tour is averaging approximately 2 million viewers this season.