Two major streaming platforms reportedly turned down the chance to acquire the media rights to LIV Golf.
According to Andrew Beaton and Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal, both Apple and Amazon passed on becoming the streaming home of the fledgling tour.
As a result, the Saudi-backed golf league has had to resort to streaming its tournaments on YouTube and Facebook. LIV Golf also signed a streaming deal with DAZN in June, in addition to contracts with international television networks such as Eleven Sports, Sky Deutschland, SPOTV and SuperSport.
Per Beaton and Flint, neither Apple nor Amazon expressed any interest in striking a deal with LIV Golf, and no serious negotiations ever took place. The same is reportedly true for television networks such as ESPN, CBS, NBC and Fox.
Dan Rapoport of Barstool Sports added that Apple’s reported lack of interest in LIV Golf had to do with the company’s belief that the league is “too toxic.”
The biggest controversy surrounding LIV Golf is the fact that it is financially backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Saudi Arabia has a history of significant human rights violations, and one popular theory is that the country is investing heavily in sports leagues like LIV Golf in an effort to improve its image across the world.
With Saudi Arabia’s backing, LIV Golf has been able to offer top golfers huge contracts, as well as massive prize money pools in its tournaments.
LIV has also appealed to golfers by holding far fewer tournaments than the PGA Tour and making them three rounds in length rather than four.
As a result, LIV Golf has brought in several big names, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Cameron Smith.
Interest in LIV Golf’s tournaments has seemingly been capped by the fact that it doesn’t have a major streaming or television contract, however, and that may continue to be the case until a deal can be reached.