Saudi-backed LIV Golf returned for a second season last weekend with ex-PGA stars, new sponsors, and a major US broadcast television deal to air the tournament on prime-time TV. But even with all of that, ratings for LIV Golf Mayakoba, Mexico, were absolutely disastrous.
LIV’s official Twitter account begs to differ…
Huge thanks to everyone who made our first event of 2023 such a big success. pic.twitter.com/oU1p5MQifs
— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league) February 27, 2023
According to Josh Carpenter of the Sports Business Journal, LIV’s first event on The CW Network had about 291k viewers on Sunday. LIV is the rival league to the PGA, entirely financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment. And when compared with the PGA Tour event’s Honda Classic on Sunday, fetching around 2.38 million views, LIV has a long way to go.
Full golf numbers for last week https://t.co/lel5DSlIom pic.twitter.com/wSNVTNvgXe
— Josh Carpenter (@JoshACarpenter) February 28, 2023
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall pointed out that “World’s Funniest Animals,” which also aired on The CW on Sunday evening, attracted more viewers than LIV.
For context another CW program, World’s Funniest Animals, outdrew LIV Golf https://t.co/txrkMNW1nq
— Joel Beall (@JoelMBeall) February 26, 2023
LIV has marketed itself as an alternative to the PGA, with three 18-hole rounds taking place over three days. The tournament features a traditional stroke play format with a shotgun start, where golfers start simultaneously on different holes. There are also no cuts.
The next LIV tournament will be in Tucson, Arizona, and has to go up against the first weekend of March Madness. But don’t worry. The Saudis have large sums of oil money to keep the league alive for at least another year.