Report: LIV Golf Invitational Series Offering UK TV Rights Free Of Charge

Sources revealed to Golfweek that the Series is offering the first event without a rights fee

Greg Norman smiles during television interview
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event taking place at the Centurion Club in less than a month, we are beginning to see more and more clarity as to who will be taking part. With the likes of Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia requesting permission to play, one area remains up in the air - the television broadcast. 

At the time of writing, no broadcasting deal has been agreed with multiple sources revealing to Golfweek's Eamon Lynch that LIV Golf Investments have offered the first event at the Centurion Club to any broadcaster without any rights fee. YouTube are said to be considering making the tournament available on their platform.

A report in the Sports Business Journal previously indicated that NEP Group, a leading technology partner with a long-standing relationship with the PGA Tour, was close to striking a deal with LIV Golf Investments to broadcast the Series. Game Creek Video, Gravity Media and Fox also reportedly held talks but those appear to have come to a halt.

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which is financially backing LIV Golf Investments and the Series, has an astronomical amount of money at its disposal but the absence of a television deal will be a cause for concern and not from a financial perspective.

The success of the Series will be determined by public exposure, which is a by-product of attracting the best players in the world. Without any form of television broadcast, both will be difficult to achieve. In the event it is picked up by a terrestrial channel, such as ITV or the BBC, it may well still receive millions of views from around the country.

It is not known why a broadcasting deal is yet to be agreed. On one hand, the association with a Saudi-backed league that has received widespread criticism may be a cause for concern whilst, on the other, the logistical difficulties of broadcasting an unprecedented 48-man field where play commences via shotgun start with little preparation time may not appeal to many.

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.