The controversial, Saudi-backed LIV Golf returned for its second season over the weekend – and according to the TV ratings, no one noticed.
LIV kicked off its 2023 season in Mayakoba, Mexico, on Friday, which was not only the tour’s first event of the season but also the first one under their recently signed television deal with The CW network. It was a questionable fit for the rebel golf tour, but perhaps no one could have imagined ratings as bad as this.
Saturday’s overnight ratings for LIV Golf Mayakoba came in at 0.2 – an absolutely disastrous figure that indicated only 0.2 percent of households surveyed tuned in.
If that doesn’t properly convey how little people cared about the weekend event, consider this: “World’s Funniest Animals,” which also aired on The CW later on in the day, attracted more viewers, according to Golf Digest.
For context, the Genesis Invitational played the week before on the PGA Tour and drew a 1.8 rating for Saturday’s third round, per Sports Media Watch. There was no competing LIV event and Tiger Woods was playing in the Genesis – his first non-major PGA event in years – but the difference in ratings is nonetheless staggering.
Ratings for this weekend’s PGA Tour event – the Honda Classic – were not immediately available. It was considered a secondary event for the PGA, with many of the biggest stars sitting out in preparation for this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational; Sungjae Im and Shane Lowry were the biggest names that participated this weekend, with veteran Chris Kirk walking away with the win.
LIV has marketed itself as “golf but louder” – an alternative format to the PGA with smaller fields, no cuts, teams, and rules quirks that differ from the traditional golf tours. LIV Golf uses a “shotgun start,” meaning all golfers teed off at the same time at different holes instead of the staggered start that is traditional on the PGA Tour.
So far, that has not translated to viewership in any meaningful way. LIV had a real opportunity to draw in viewers considering the weak field in the PGA Tour over the weekend – and flopped spectacularly.
American Charles Howell III, a 43-year-old who won three times on the PGA Tour before defecting to LIV, walked away with the victory at Mayakoba, shooting 16-under.
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