David Wehrty, a golf analyst who highlights himself as a comedian, told the crowd at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach that LIV Golf is about to secure a deal with a network known for teen sitcoms and superhero shows.
The CW network, which has 220 affiliates nationwide including WTVX 34 in West Palm Beach, is next in line as LIV tries to secure a television contract. Wehrte hinted on Thursday that an announcement could be made soon, possibly this week.
“Have you heard of the CW?” he said after his presentation on Thursday. Then he added, “I might be fired for this, but…”
More coverage:LIV Golf’s Greg Norman wasn’t at the event that founded it, but it still looms large
Last:It can be difficult for many LPGA golfers to turn down the LIV Women’s League
LIV, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund-funded breakaway golf league headed by Greg Norman of Palm Beach Gardens, will hold eight events in 2022, its inaugural season. The only way to tune in was through LIVGolf.com and YouTube.
Fertie left NBC Sports and Golf last summer to work as an analyst at LIV. When asked in August why he made the switch, Firti told the Toledo Blade, “The money. I heard ‘Well, it’s game development.’ Bull…they paid me a lot of money.”
However, Weherty wasn’t exactly breaking the news when he spilled it on The CW. Sports Business Journal recently reported that The CW Network was the frontrunner for a deal with LIV.
Securing a TV deal is critical to LIV’s core business model for multiplayer. The series is being renamed the LIV Golf League this year and will increase to 14 tournaments. She will continue to play the 54-hole no-cut events with 12 four-man teams looking to franchise her as a primary source of income to help start offsetting the billions it cost Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to start the league.
But to maximize the value of each franchise, the LIV must get that TV deal and find league-wide sponsors. Partnering with The CW would be the first step. Norman said the teams will not be sold until the end of this season at the earliest.
Successful inaugural season
By all accounts, LIV had a successful inaugural season. Norman managed to attract more established names than expected such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau and brought the league to the attention of the PGA Tour, which responded by pouring more money into its product.
LIV has been polarizing and has found its niche in the golf market.
But little news has come since the season ended in late October at Trump National Doral. At the time, rumors swirled of more high-profile defectors and former President Donald Trump promised that big names would leave the PGA Tour for LIV.
more:Trump spends pro-LIV to praise his game and prove Joe Biden is in over his head | D’Angelo
But no new players have joined since the 2022 season ended and the roster remains a mystery. Many of the most famous names have personally denied these rumors. Patrick Cantlay said he had “no plans” to join LIV. Jason Day told The Palm Beach Post that he isn’t leaving “as of now.” Xander Schauffele said, “I know where I’ll be playing next year, and maybe if I had to guess, years from now where I’ll be playing.” He meant the PGA Tour.
Cameron Young. John Ram. Adam Scott. All of them are still on the PGA Tour. If there is any move between now and the start of the LIV season it could be at the level of Tequesta Mito Pereira.
LIV desperately needs more star power. The number of high-profile names jumping in early was impressive, but these aren’t enough to overcome the star power of the PGA Tour.
Instead, the biggest news when it comes to Transactions since the end of last season has been two significant exits from LIV. Matt Goodman, director of franchises, left LIV this month and director of operations Atul Khosla resigned in December. Both, according to the Sports Business Journal, “are seen as key figures as LIV looks to enhance its business model and begin to capitalize on traditional methods of revenue generation.”
Additionally, a full schedule was expected to be released in November, but only seven tournaments were announced, with venues in Mexico, Arizona, Australia, Singapore, Oklahoma, Spain and West Virginia. The season runs from February 24-26 in Mayakoba, Mexico.
The rest of the schedule should be released soon. Some of the venues that held the LIV event last season are expected to return, such as Doral, Bedminster, Chicago, Boston and London. Trump said LIV will hold a tournament at his property outside of Washington, D.C
And there is no bad news when it comes to the Official World Golf Ranking points. The OWGR Board of Directors is slowly going through its time with LIV’s request for golfers to receive points. However, they announced in December that a Mexican developmental round established in 2017 would begin receiving points this month after a 16-month application process. LIV applied for an OWGR score this past July.
Tom D’Angelo is a sports columnist for the Palm Beach Post. He can be reached at email@example.com.