What Is LIV Golf? It Depends Who You Ask.

 

LIV (rhymes with give) Golf selected Roman numerals for its title. If it’s been some time because you studied these at school, LIV interprets to 54, which is the variety of holes every participant will full in every occasion’s three-round format, which is one fewer spherical than a typical PGA Tour workweek, however for a lot more cash.

(Before you ask: The most up-to-date N.F.L. championship sport was Super Bowl LVI, or 56.)

Despite its high-profile golfers and its big-money backing, LIV Golf has not but secured a broadcast rights settlement within the United States — probably the most profitable marketplace for televised sports activities — and will likely be proven on lesser-watched streaming companies in a lot of the world. (Here’s a full list of non-U.S. options.) That doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t watch within the United States, although: This week’s match will likely be accessible through dwell streams on LIVGolf.com, YouTube and Facebook.

Normally, tv networks would have jumped on the likelihood to indicate dwell sports activities throughout gradual instances on the calendar; witness yet one more spring soccer league being proven on tv. But ESPN, CBS, NBC and Amazon are within the first yr of a nine-year settlement that has them collectively paying lots of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} yearly to the PGA Tour to indicate tournaments. Those networks could have their fill of golf. They may additionally not need to court docket controversy, nor anger their enterprise accomplice, the PGA Tour.

History suggests, nevertheless, that if LIV Golf does show to be a hit, main rights agreements gained’t be far behind. With customers persevering with to slowly abandon pay tv, dwell sports activities is nearly the one sort of programming that delivers giant, and profitable, audiences anymore. And the streaming companies which might be luring these customers away know that dwell sports activities is among the finest methods to get new prospects, and maintain outdated ones.

Not precisely. We requested Ben Hubbard, who covers the Middle East because the Beirut bureau chief for The Times and has written a ebook on Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, to elucidate the dominion’s motivations in a bit extra depth. His response:

Saudi Arabia’s backing of the brand new sequence is the latest instance of the way in which oil-rich Gulf monarchies use their huge wealth to put money into sports activities and cultural establishments in hopes of elevating their nations’ worldwide profiles and shifting how they’re considered by individuals in Western nations.


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