LIV Golfs CW debut scores low ratings; Nexstar CEO bullish

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LIV Golf League promised to be golf and louder , but last weekends Mexico opening broadcast showed that very few people were listening.

The CWs first live broadcast of LIV Golf League attracted an average of 289,000 viewers, and a 0.18 household rating on Saturday. The opening round of the LIV Golf League was broadcast live to U.S. viewers via The CW App and the leagues website.

Perry Sook (CEO of Nexstar), The CWs parent company spoke to reporters during Tuesdays earnings call. He stated that the circuit was still a good starting point. It is being financed in Saudi Arabia by the Public Investment Fund and is led by two-time Open Championship champion. Greg Norman.

Sook said to reporters that 1.4million people watched at most a few minutes of LIV Golf League tournament at Mayakoba. This was either on The CW Broadcast Network or the CW App.

Sook stated that Those numbers exceeded all our expectations and, most importantly, the affiliates and our stations were thrilled. I know that the top 10 CW affiliates and our affiliates generated three times the money that the network generated for its first outing. So its selling well, and you know, it will continue growing as we get more involved in the season.

LIV Golfs ratings werent nearly as impressive as those of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic. This event averaged approximately 593,000 viewers on Golf Channel and approximately 2 million viewers on NBC, Saturday and Sunday.

The Honda Classic was located between four of the PGA Tour’s biggest events. This meant that most of the top tour players didn’t play in this tournament. The opening event of the tour’s Florida swing saw no participation from any of the 17 top players in the world. Instead, most of them focused on two events, The Players and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. LIV Golf was motivated by the low field of the Honda Classic to host its first event last Wednesday.

The Honda Classic had at least some drama Chris KirkA rookie is defeated Eric ColeIn a playoff to win the first time in almost eight years on Sunday.

Mexico had less intrigue than the United States. Charles Howell IIIHis Crushers GC team won by nine shots and won the individual title.

The average viewers for Tiger Woods return after a seven-month layoff at The Genesis from February 16-19 was 3.12million on CBS, an increase of 32% over the same event in 2022. Final-round coverage attracted a 2.1 rating with an average of 3.42 millions viewers.

It is LIV Golf’s second year of competition after signing several former PGA Tour players, including Dustin Johnson, Bryson deChambeau, Phil MickelsonAnd Cameron Smith. The inaugural seasons events broadcast live on YouTube, DAZNs streaming service, and leagues official website.

Brandon Katz, a Parrot Analytics entertainment industry strategist, said that its too soon to predict whether LIV Golf or The CW will be a success partnership.

Katz said to ESPN, This is The CW’s foray into live sport. Theyre doing this with an embryonic league of sports. It takes a while to change and condition viewers behavior. People are not used comparing The CW to live sports. Therefore, there will be a runway as they attempt to familiarize themselves with their audience and the audience they hope to reach with this new offering. It is difficult to compare them to PGA numbers at this stage.

Katz stated that linear sports are still the number one choice for entertainment. Katz said that linear sports remain the No. 1 gateway to linear TV and increasingly to streaming services. Sports are still more attractive than scripted shows and other entertainment options.

Katz stated, Obviously, this upstart league is trying to take down an incumbent and that will take time and money. We know that they have a large financial runway. I believe you want to see growth over these events in the first year. You would definitely want to see tournament-over-tournament increases. It takes time to create a new league, and ensure that the right audiences are aware of your plans to expand.

LIV Golfs next event takes place in Tucson, Arizona, from March 17-19. It will play head-to-head with the PGA Tour Valspar Championship, which also is a non-designated tournament.

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