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LIV Golf Denies 'Incomplete and Inaccurate' Reports About Fox Sports Contract Talks

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 28, 2022

SUGAR GROVE, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Team Captain Cameron Smith of Punch GC poses with the trophy after winning the individual title during Day Three of the LIV Golf Invitational - Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 18, 2022 in Sugar Grove, Illinois. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/LIV Golf via Getty Images)
Joe Scarnici/LIV Golf via Getty Images

LIV Golf has denied "incomplete and inaccurate" reports that it is nearing a television deal with Fox Sports to broadcast its tournaments on FS1.

Al Butler @ALaboutSports

LIV Golf calls recent reports about alleged broadcast deal with Fox Sports “incomplete and inaccurate.” LIV says in a a statement that it is involved in “active discussions” with several companies about broadcasting league. <a href="https://t.co/Hm1MvLpPOs">pic.twitter.com/Hm1MvLpPOs</a>

That statement comes after Eamon Lynch of Golfweek reported that an agreement between LIV Golf and Fox is close, but it has yet to be finalized.

If the reported deal were to happen, it would see LIV pay Fox Sports for airtime rather than Fox paying LIV a rights fee, which typically doesn't happen in sports. LIV Golf would reportedly also be responsible for production and ad sales related to its tournaments.

Although LIV reportedly asked for a guaranteed time slot on network TV and a rights fee for the second year of any deal, that proposal was rejected by Fox.

While a deal with Fox could still be agreed upon, LIV says it is still currently in talks with "several" companies.

Until this point, viewers have only been able to watch LIV Golf's events streaming on YouTube or the LIV Golf website, which has perhaps capped its growth and prevented it from reaching the widest possible audience.

Still, LIV has been hugely impactful in the golf world, primarily because of its penchant for poaching big-name golfers from the PGA Tour.

Many notable players have made the leap from the PGA Tour to LIV, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson.

It can be argued that the biggest defection was that of world No. 3 Cameron Smith of Australia, who won a LIV tournament in Chicago this month.

LIV Golf, which is financially backed by Saudi Arabia's public investment fund, has been able to lure high-profile golfers thanks to large guaranteed contracts, massive tournament purses, a lighter schedule and shorter tournaments that last 54 holes rather than the traditional 72.

Critics argue the tour is one of several attempts by Saudi Arabia to engage in sportswashing—using sports teams, leagues and events to distract from a nation's misdeeds and improve its reputation globally.

Only three tournaments remain on LIV Golf's 2022 schedule. All of them will be held in October with Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Miami as the hosts.

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