ORLANDO – LIV Golf has pushed back on reports that its first weekend television ratings were poor, as Friday it released figures that included viewers across all linear and digital platforms for its season-opening event in Mexico, saying it drew an audience of 3.2 million viewers for its three-day event.
The LIV Mayakoba event, won by Charles Howell III, was LIV’s first broadcast as part of a deal with the CW Network.
LIV Golf said it used iSpot, a TV ad measurement and analytics company as well as CW and LIV Golf internal, to come up with its figures.
Ratings figures for the CW that did not include streaming reported viewership of under 300,000 for the final round, according to Sports Business Journal. The PGA Tour’s Honda Classic averaged 2.38 million households for Sunday’s coverage of Chris Kirk’s playoff victory over Eric Cole using the same Nielsen rating.
LIV Golf reported 1.3 million linear viewers for Sunday’s final round after getting 1.6 million on Saturday. There is no television coverage on Fridays, only via the CW app. It also reported that downloads of the CW app exceeded 1 million in February.
LIV Golf announced its agreement in January with the CW Network, which has a reach of 125 million households. According to Sports Business Journal, of the 210 media markets across the country, 70 are metered for the purpose of discerning ratings and LIV reached 26 metered markets.
“This was a great start for LIV Golf and a great debut for CW Sports,” said Dennis Miller, president of the CW Network. “We are really encouraged by the dramatic viewership increases we saw across our affiliates. The performance of LIV Golf is very competitive with other longstanding sports leagues, and we are confident that the audience for the league will continue growing throughout the season, as The CW delivers high quality sports programming to our broadcasting and advertising partners for the first time.”
LIV’s average for linear of 537,000 viewers only included domestic markets.
“This is a long-term game of growing our viewership, but we are delighted with our start in the US and extremely encouraged by our global engagement,’’ said Will Staeger, LIV Golf’s chief media officer. “Our preliminary rollout with 12 international broadcast partners and counting signifies a far-reaching demand for LIV Golf, which will be delivered in over 160 territories to more than 380 million homes worldwide.”
Source: Sports Illustrated