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    Greg Norman says LIV has ‘4 networks’ within the bidding for a TV deal

    Greg Norman says curiosity in a LIV TV deal is choosing up.

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    LIV Golf has a TV downside, and evidently extra options than it is aware of what to do with.

    In an interview with ESPN 1000 Chicago on Wednesday forward of the fourth LIV Golf Invitational Sequence occasion in Chicago, LIV commissioner and CEO Greg Norman mentioned that conversations over the Saudi-backed league’s tv rights have was one thing of a bidding struggle.

    “Nicely, yeah, I can’t touch upon that fairly truthfully,” Norman mentioned. “All I can let you know is that the curiosity coming throughout our plate proper now’s huge.”

    Up to now, a tv deal has proved elusive for the upstart league, which at present broadcasts its tournaments without cost on YouTube. The league has reportedly been in discussions with networks relationship again to not less than early 2022, although it has but to strike any form of official broadcast settlement.

    In an interview with @ESPN1000, Greg Norman says LIV Golf is in “dwell conversations” with “4 completely different networks” for a media rights deal.

    “The curiosity coming throughout our plate proper now’s huge.”

    — James Colgan (@jamescolgan26) September 14, 2022

    It has been lengthy believed that LIV’s YouTube scenario is pushed primarily by tepid curiosity from the networks, who see the league’s controversial ties as a major roadblock towards profitability. However in his interview with ESPN 1000, Norman argued the other was the case, saying {that a} host of bidders are at present in lively negotiations for LIV’s rights.

    “We’re speaking to 4 completely different networks — and dwell conversations the place provides are being placed on the desk,” Norman mentioned. “As a result of [the networks] can see the worth of our product, they’ll see what we’re delivering.”

    In fact, it must be famous that it’s in Norman’s greatest curiosity for the networks to enter a bidding struggle for LIV’s broadcast rights. In a typical negotiation, a community will bid for a sports activities property’s tv or streaming rights based mostly on the whole quantity of promoting income the community believes it could generate from the league. In a scenario wherein just one bidder emerges, a community is incentivized to supply a lowball supply, maximizing the potential earnings from the league. In a scenario wherein a number of bidders emerge, nonetheless, the ability shifts to the league, which may leverage the networks towards one another to obtain essentially the most aggressive supply.

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    It’s potential Norman’s feedback quantity to little greater than spin, trying to drum up leverage for the brand new league in an atmosphere wherein most of its potential companions are already spoken for. CBS and NBC — two sports activities TV behemoths — already personal the TV rights to the PGA Tour, eliminating them from consideration, whereas dark-horse candidates like ESPN and Turner (owned by Warner-Discovery) have their very own far-reaching connections to the Tour. That leaves FOX, which is owned by Norman’s previous pal Rupert Murdoch and has no excellent connection to the PGA Tour, however they jumped ship halfway via a $1.1 billion settlement with the USGA in 2020 for a cause — golf was not notably worthwhile. Most of the more than likely candidates reside within the streaming world, the place Amazon, Apple and Fubo are among the many well-funded gamers to enter the world of sports activities TV over the previous few months. However even then, the identical considerations exist round getting into a partnership with the brand new league.

    Nonetheless, any form of settlement can be an enormous addition for LIV each when it comes to its long-term monetary prospects and public viability. Even when the Saudi Public Funding Fund’s monetary backing is sufficient to hold the league functioning within the short-to-medium time period, it could appear possible that LIV’s financiers want to see a point of monetary and business viability from their multi-billion greenback funding. With out some type of media deal, that viability is not possible.

    The excellent news for LIV is that after Wednesday, a deal of some variety appears possible. That’s, as long as Norman is telling the reality.

    James Colgan Editor

    James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing tales for the web site and journal. He writes the Sizzling Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and makes use of his broadcast expertise throughout the model’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse College, James — and evidently, his golf sport — continues to be defrosting from 4 years within the snow. Previous to becoming a member of GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Lengthy Island, the place he’s from. He will be reached at [email protected]

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