No TV network deal yet for Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational series, but report says production deal could irk PGA Tour

·2 min read

The PGA Tour is in the first year on a nine-year media rights deal with CBS, NBC and ESPN and all parties seem to be happy continuing their relationships.

But the pending arrival of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational series is sure to complicate things.

John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reports that television production company NEP Group may soon have a deal with LIV Golf and writes that this “has the potential to create some upheaval in the television production world.”

Most sports fans are probably unfamiliar with NEP Group, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based production company that bills itself as the “leading technology partner for content creators around the globe.”

NEP already works with the PGA Tour, doing all the behind-the-scenes work that creates the live product that fans watching at home see on CBS, NBC or ESPN.

As Ourand reports, the PGA Tour “has been dissuading its corporate partners from working with the Saudi-backed upstart league.”

NEP reportedly beat out a few others for the LIV deal, should it actually pan out, and they’d be one of the only companies working with both the PGA Tour and the breakaway LIV series. Ourand writes that most companies that have contracts with the PGA Tour are steering clear of LIV.

As for which channel golf fans may find the LIV golf coverage, Ourand writes:

The other big question is who will carry the LIV Golf events in the U.S., considering that most of the big U.S.-based media companies already have deep relationships with the PGA Tour. Sources said LIV Golf had discussions about doing a deal with Fox, but those talks died down weeks ago.

The first LIV Golf event is June 9-11 in London. The first U.S.-based LIV event is scheduled for July 1-3 in Portland at Pumpkin Ridge.

List

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and the players who have supported the PGA Tour over the Saudi Arabia-backed Super Golf League