Will Apple try to land the LIV Golf streaming deal for Apple TV+?

LIV Golf, the upstart rival to the PGA Tour, just completed its third tournament with the winner Henrik Stenson pocketing a cool $4 million for the individual win and $375,000 as a member of the second pace team at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ. Currently the tournaments can only be seen live on YouTube, Facebook, and the LIV Golf website, but the tour is looking to ink broadcast and streaming deals, perhaps with Apple TV+ or Amazon Prime Video, two streamers that are particularly interested in carrying live sports.

Will Apple TV+ try to land the LIV Golf streaming deal?

Josh Schafer for Yahoo Finance:

LIV Golf’s first round at Trump National Golf Club had a little bit of everything. The former president waved to fans from the first tee and parachuters crashed into the course with the American Flag to the tune of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”

Yet, none of it was seen through traditional broadcast methods.

“At the end of the day, we absolutely need a broadcast deal,” LIV Golf COO and President Atul Khosla said on Yahoo Finance Live.

LIV Golf is a new golf tour bankrolled by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which has generated controversy due to the country’s history of human rights violations. It’s been able to attract big-name players in the game like Phil Mickelson with a reported $200 million [signing bonus] and Dustin Johnson at $125 million, which are reportedly more than double what they’ve earned in prize money over their entire careers.

The league has also pulled some broadcasting talent, namely David Feherty from NBC. Adding a broadcast partner could elevate the operation… A streaming partner means more potential on-air talent and consistent coverage. Sports media rights deals have reached well into the billions, with a growing number of tech companies entering the foray, including Apple and Amazon.

Phil Mickelson, the ring leader of the LIV movement, believes the new league’s unique play-style will be appealing to a streaming partner. LIV utilizes a “shotgun start” for its tournaments, which allows all 48 players to begin play at the same time. In traditional professional golf events, the tee times are scattered throughout the day so every player can start on Hole 1.

Shifting to a shotgun start takes what’s normally a 10-hour golf day and squeezes the action down to roughly four hours. Mickelson argued that condensation could help bring golf to a younger audience.

“When a streaming partner comes about, I think it’s going to revolutionize the way golf is viewed because you’ll have no commercials,” Mickelson said at the post-game presser. “You’ll have shot after shot after shot, and it will capture that younger generation’s attention span, and will open up a lot of opportunities to try and get the younger generation, which again we’ve tried to do for 30 years and it’s gone the other way.”

MacDailyNews Take: Sports business experts previously told Yahoo Finance that the backlash over the league’s Saudi funding would be fleeting. And big-name players keep joining: Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters champion, just announced that he was headed to LIV in 2023 during Friday’s opening round.

So, Apple (or Amazon) may see its way clear to inking a deal to stream LIV Golf events live without commercial interruption, as Apple already does with Major League Baseball’s Friday Night Baseball and will do with the upcoming 10-year exclusive deal to stream every single live Major League Soccer match beginning in 2023.

To start, LIV is probably very amenable to a sweetheart deal to land some real media presence which Apple could use to its advantage at the negotiating table.

Here’s LIV Golf’s Sunday final round via YouTube:

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12 Comments

  1. Apple is too woke and not smart enough (but I repeat myself) to do a deal with LIV.

    If Apple were smart and based, they’d have signed up LIV already.

    You’ll have to wait for boring beancounter Tim Cook to finally get out of there before Apple smartens up, starts thinking different, and begins innovating again.

      1. @ First/Sarah: Donald is done. He’s alienated real conservatives with his lies, and younger populists are swarming to take over for the obese aging loser. Find a MAGA blog on which to spread your off topic propaganda.

        1. President Donald Trump dominated the 2024 GOP presidential nomination straw poll at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit (July 24, 2022).

          TPUSA polled conference attendees—youth activists from around the country—who they would vote for in 2024 if Trump decided to launch another White House run.

          • Trump: 78.7%

          • DeSantis: 19%
          • Noem: 1%
          • Pompeo: 0.5%
          • Cruz: 0.3%
          • Haley: 0.3%
          • Pence: 0.3%

          https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-dominates-2024-gop-presidential-nomination-straw-poll-turning-point-usa-summit

          1. It doesn’t speak well of your indoctrinated students that they would vote with straws and select a multi bankrupted chronic liar and grifter whose own family admitted he lost the 2020 election, but who insists that executive privilege offers him the right to lie and whine like the sore loser he is. It’s hard to find a more pathetic political figure. Any of the options would have been better than Lyin’ Don.

            iCal it: he’s not going to get the GOP nomination, and he’s too chickenshit to run as an independent. Trump is done.

            1. Undeclared, and after 6 years of mainstream propaganda demonizing him…

              President Trump leads Biden by 6 points, 53% to 47%

              82 percent of those surveyed say they at least somewhat approve of the possibility of Trump running in 2024, but 60 percent said they do not believe Biden should run in the next presidential election.

              The survey comes as the country enters a recession in the second year of Biden’s presidency as Americans grapple with rampant inflation and high gas prices.

    1. Why exactly would Apple sign on to an also-ran Saudi boondoggle? In case you haven’t noticed, Apple cautiously invests in outfits that have a good track record.

      In other non-news, Apple passed on its opportunities to invest in failed casinos, steak distribution, airlines, beauty contests, and apartment complexes in Queens.

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