A fan of the new golf series: Former US President Donald Trump watches top star Bryson DeChambeau
JUSTIN LANE v EPO
Normally, TV providers pay huge sums of money to be able to show sporting events.
Football broadcasts in particular are a billion dollar business.
Golf is not nearly as popular as football, but it is still possible to generate enough income.
Nevertheless, according to several media reports, the controversial LIV golf league is about to buy airtime on the US cable television station Fox Sports 1.
The series, financed by the Saudi Arabian state fund, has so far worked without a TV deal and has broadcast its tournaments freely on the Internet.
The fact that LIV has so far spent enormous sums to sign top stars like Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson or Phil Mickelson has apparently not been a problem given the large financial resources.
As reported by »Golfweek«, LIV now wants to buy broadcasting time in order to be even better perceived by the public.
According to the report, the series hopes to recoup the expenses by airing its own commercials.
However, this approach could lead to problems.
Since March, US broadcasters have been required to disclose when they receive money from foreign governments or institutions for airtime.
At conservative broadcaster Fox, accepting money from Saudi Arabia could lead to controversy.
A spokesman for the Golf Series told the Guardian the reports were "incomplete and inaccurate."
One is still in talks with potential TV partners.
According to media reports, possible deals with NBC, CBS, Disney, Apple and Amazon have failed, so that a normal television contract will probably not come about.
LIV Golf has been under criticism for months and has bought numerous top stars away from the PGA Tour.
There are allegations that Saudi Arabia is "sportwashing" the golfers - that is, trying to polish its international image with sport and trying to distract from the human rights violations in its own country.
LIV Golf is said to have invested more than a billion dollars.
LIV star Reed is suing TV stations
The TV hiccup is not the only excitement.
Patrick Reed, who won the Masters in 2018 and now stars in the LIV series, is suing the NBC Golf Channel and journalist Brandel Chamblee for defamation, seeking $750 million in damages.
He alleges that the defendants conspired with the PGA Tour to "destroy his reputation," create hatred and a hostile work environment for him with the intent to discredit his name and achievements as a golfer.
The 32-year-old American filed the original lawsuit in August and has now expanded it against other personalities from the golfing world.
According to a report by The Athletic, he is now asking for more than $750 million.
Allegations of fraud have repeatedly been made public against Reed, which he denies.
Reed's competitors have also often complained in the past about allegedly unfair actions by the top golfer.
The next event in the LIV series will take place in Bangkok on October 7th.
The golfers in the LIV series previously played on a course owned by former US President Donald Trump.