LIV Golf has confirmed the launch of LIV Golf Plus and LIVGolfPlus.com, as the Saudi-backed breakaway league looks for an alternative way to build its global audience after struggling to attract major broadcast partners.
Having streamed action on YouTube during its first season, the big-spending organisation will instead showcase the newly rebranded LIV Golf League via an app available in 180 international territories. The first event broadcast on the app will be the league’s Mexican event, LIV Golf Mayakoba, on 24-26 February.
Will Staeger, LIV Golf Chief Media Officer, commented: “The introduction of the LIV Golf Plus streaming app ensures fans around the world will receive direct access to live and on-demand coverage of our league’s groundbreaking launch.
“In keeping with the content distribution strategy of other major sports leagues, the LIV Golf Plus streaming app allows more access to our content from more places for more people, spanning the traditional golf consumer to the casual sports and entertainment viewer discovering golf for the first time.”
He added: “We are thrilled to bring our innovative coverage of the game’s biggest stars including Cam Smith, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson to the sport’s global fanbase and are excited to grow our content offering on LIVGolf Plus in the coming seasons to drive deeper connections between viewers and our athletes in every corner of the world.”
In the U.S., The CW Network will air the LIV Golf League in 100% of markets as part of the network’s previously announced multi-year exclusive broadcast agreement. All 14 events will be delivered to more than 120 million households across the U.S. and streamed live to The CW App, which has been downloaded over 90 million times and is available on all major platforms.
It comes following a report from The Daily Mail, which detailed that the competition’s venture into free-to-air came after failed negotiations with a plethora of UK broadcasters.
According to the report, the failed negotiations with Sky were significantly hindered by the leading UK golf broadcaster’s strong relationship with the PGA Tour – something Sky didn’t want to impact.
Furthermore, it comes amid a backdrop of continued tension between the PGA and LIV Golf, with players in the breakaway Saudi Arabia funded tournament battling for eligibility in the decorated PGA competitions.
Insider Sport Insight: Struggles to find a broadcast partner will be a short term blow for the embattled LIV Golf tournament, however, they will hope the star power they have attracted will be enough to draw audiences to their free platform.