LONDON and WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.: The opening weekend of the 2023 LIV Golf League on The CW Network generated an audience of over 3.2 million total viewers across all linear and digital platforms, as viewers tuned into the groundbreaking golf league’s three-day competition on February 24-26. Data is provided in partnership with audience measurement provider iSpot (Source: iSpotTV linear viewing data P2+ for 2/24-2/26/23) along with internal CW and LIV Golf digital data.
Part of a new rights deal with The CW announced on January 19, LIV Golf’s Saturday broadcast saw more than 1.6 million total viewers tune in on linear television including CW affiliates, Nexstar stations carrying LIV Golf in key markets, and out of home viewings, with more than 1.3 million total linear viewers on Sunday. The league’s inaugural weekend of live coverage averaged a linear viewership of more than 537,000, surpassing the current season viewership average of the 105-year-old National Hockey League on ESPN and TNT (373,000), average viewership of the 2023 Australian Open Men’s Final on ESPN (439,000), and the average ABC and ESPN viewership of 2022 Major League Soccer (343,000), launched in 1996. All ratings are from US domestic audiences only.
LIV Golf’s 2023 opening tournament saw The CW Network’s local market ratings for the time period increase by double digits in ten top U.S. markets compared to their year-to-date weekend averages for the time period. In addition, The CW’s weekend primetime national ratings were up +24% among total viewers compared to the network’s weekend season to date average, according to Nielsen.
An indication of how new technology and capabilities are shaping consumer habits, new downloads of The CW App jumped by nearly 1 million in February, a +40% month-to-month increase in the lead-up to LIV Golf’s 2023 debut. LIV Golf Plus, unveiled on February 23, was the weekend’s highest downloaded free sports app across major platforms, recording nearly 350,000 views over the tournament’s three days. In addition, LIV Golf League and team social media accounts experienced 34 million video views throughout the tournament week.
“Our first weekend of live coverage for the 2023 LIV Golf season exceeded expectations,” said Will Staeger, LIV Golf’s Chief Media Officer. “It represented the LIV Golf League’s debut on The CW, The CW App, and the weekend’s highest downloaded free sports app, LIV Golf Plus. LIV has diversified its consumption model, tailoring our distribution to the way viewers consume their content – and these numbers reflect the new ways that sports are watched. 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. 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.”
“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.”
In order to most accurately measure cross-platform premium video campaigns and sponsorships associated with the 2023 LIV Golf League across its linear and digital properties, The CW Network has partnered with iSpot, the real-time measurement company, which allows the network to measure the event across multiple platforms, not just on linear. iSpot, which has reached agreements with multiple networks for testing and deploying its proprietary software over the last year, offers leading cross-platform audience and advertising measurement solutions to calculate the reach, frequency, average minute-by-minute audience, and impact of viewers and campaigns of the LIV Golf League on CW affiliates, other local stations carrying LIV Golf in key markets, as well as The CW App.
This is the first full, official season for the LIV Golf League that features 48 world-class golfers competing amongst 12 teams in pursuit of the LIV Golf League Individual Championship and Team Championship. In the season’s first of 14 events, Charles Howell III (16 under par) won the LIV Golf Mayakoba Individual title while also securing the Team title with teammates Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey and Anirban Lahiri of Crushers GC (26 under par).
LIV’s coverage includes a shotgun start, distinctive live leaderboard, enhanced drone coverage, statistics-driven graphics, and fast-paced coverage featuring nearly twice as many golf shots per hour than traditional golf coverage. It also features the most diverse announcing team in the sport, made up of Arlo White, David Feherty, Jerry Foltz, Su-Ann Heng, Dom Boulet, and Troy Mullins.
All 2023 LIV Golf League events air from 1:00-6:00 pm ET on Saturdays and Sundays on The CW Network’s linear and digital platforms and LIV Golf Plus, with Friday rounds carried on The CW App and LIV Golf Plus. All eight U.S.-based tournaments and six international events are broadcast across the U.S. and streamed live to The CW App, which has been downloaded over 92 million times and is available on all major platforms.
League play continues with LIV Golf Tucson, March 17-19 at The Gallery Golf Club in Arizona. For more information on how to watch the 2023 LIV Golf League, click here.
LIV Golf is owned and operated by LIV Golf Investments, whose vision and mission are centered around making holistic and sustainable investments to enhance the global golf ecosystem and unlock the sport’s untapped worldwide potential.
About LIV Golf Investments
LIV Golf Investments is a newly formed company with group companies in the USA and UK and Asian offices to follow. Its purpose is to holistically supercharge professional golf on a global scale to help unlock the sports’ untapped potential. Greg Norman is the first and founding CEO of LIV Golf Investments. PIF, one of the world’s largest wealth funds with a diverse international investment portfolio, is the majority shareholder in LIV Golf Investments.
About The CW Network
The CW Network, LLC is one of America’s major broadcast networks and is available to homes in 100% of US markets. The CW delivers 14 hours of primetime programming per week in addition to sports and other entertainment programming, and is the exclusive broadcast home to LIV Golf. The fully ad-supported CW App, with over 92 million downloads to date, is available for free to consumers on all major platforms and is the exclusive home to the latest episodes and seasons of The CW’s primetime programming, live streaming of its sports content, and a library of entertaining film and television content for on-demand viewing. The CW is 75%-owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST), a leading diversified media company and largest CW affiliate group with 37 CW and CW Plus affiliates, covering 32% of the population. For more information about The CW, please visit www.cwtv.com.
LIV Golf Media Contacts:
The CW Media Contacts:
Beth Feldman, 646/563-8334
Rob Moynihan, 760/519-5543
Cyndee Ellefson, 818/977-2566
Jodi Karp, 818/977-2609