Amazon and Apple quickly turned away LIV Golf when a controversial PGA Tour competitor approached the companies about conducting their courses on their respective streaming services, The Wall Street Journal On Thursday, it reported a decisive blow as LIV seeks a big money broadcast deal to boost its bottom line, although the Saudi-funded league continues to express optimism about negotiations.
according to magazineciting sources familiar with the matter — even as the two companies desperately push into live sports.
The news comes a day after LIV CEO Greg Norman said there was “tremendous” interest in acquiring the tour’s media rights, saying the tour had received offers and was in active discussions with four networks.
However, LIV’s remaining suitors are weak with Amazon and Apple out of luck: CBS, ESPN, and NBC are closely tied to the PGA Tour, leaving only Fox among the major US networks.
Given that Fox Sports has opted out of its short five-year stint broadcasting the US Open in 2020 and even Fired Norman in 2016 After one season as a network anchor, Fox also seems like an unlikely match.
There are still many other creative options LIV can pursue to expand its reach, including buying airtime on the network, which can The New York Times reported that it was considered earlier this year or go directly to regional stations, which LIV head of media Will Steiger told Washington Post It was on the table in July.
LIV, Apple and Amazon did not respond immediately ForbesComment request. Daniel Rappaport of Barstol Sports, formerly Golf DigestAnd the mentioned On Tuesday, Apple refused to pursue the rights to LIV, with a source telling him that the company felt LIV was “too toxic.” LIV, which is funded by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, has been accused of being a PR vehicle to “sport launder” the Saudi government’s history of human rights abuses. The Tour has attracted many of the best golfers away from the PGA Tour thanks to the huge contracts. Although Saudi funding may be unlimited, the round has profit-taking aspirations, said Atul Khosla, LIV President and COO, Forbes The tour’s long-term business model will be based on “broadcast revenue followed by sponsorship revenue.” Commitment from top players and fan interest in the tournament’s unique LIV format will likely give the tour a nine-figure annual rights deal.
Thursday’s competition between the Kansas Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers will be the first NFL game to be broadcast exclusively on Amazon Prime, as Amazon’s 11-year, $13 billion deal with the league begins to air Thursday nights 15 each season. Apple is close to Amazon in the live sports streaming business, signing deals worth nearly $3 billion to broadcast MLB and MLS games.
Apple and Amazon passed LIV Golf Media Rights (The Wall Street Journal)
Majors, Monopolies, Megabucks and Donald Trump: Inside the Business of the New Saudi Golf League (Forbes)
The future of LIV Golf on American television is uncertain, but it certainly has a future (Washington Post)