LIV Golf’s debut on The CW drew terrible ratings, far worse than PGA Tour’s Honda Classic
The Honda Classic averaged about 2 million viewers last weekend despite having a relatively weak field.
It may finally have a television deal, but very few people actually tuned in to watch LIV Golf’s season opener last weekend.
LIV Golf’s tournament in Mexico last weekend drew an average of just 289,000 viewers and held a 0.18 household rating on The CW on Saturday and Sunday, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.
That’s not great, and looks terrible compared to what the PGA Tour did.
The Tour’s Honda Classic crushed LIV Golf, too, despite having a rather weak field. The Honda Classic drew an average of 593,000 viewers on the Golf Channel and about 2 million viewers on NBC on Saturday and Sunday, per ESPN. Chris Kirk won the Honda Classic, though nobody ranked inside the top 17 in the Official World Golf Rankings were in the field.
The Genesis Invitational two weeks ago, which was a designated event and included Tiger Woods for the first time in seven months, averaged 3.12 million viewers on CBS, and final-round coverage drew a 2.1 household rating.
Despite the tough showing, Nexstar CEO Perry Sook was actually impressed with the numbers. Nexstar is the parent company of The CW, which struck a deal with the controversial Saudi Arabian-backed golf league after the first season was streamed for free on YouTube.
"Those numbers exceeded our expectations, and, most importantly, the affiliates as well as our own stations were thrilled," Sook said, via ESPN. "I know that our affiliates and CW affiliates in the top 10 markets generated about three times the amount of money that the network generated for this first outing, and so it's selling very well, and, you know, and I think will continue to grow as we get more into the season and more involved."
LIV Golf will hold its second and third tournaments of the season this month, first in Tucson, Arizona starting on March 17 and then in Orlando, Florida starting March 31. Those events are being held just before The Players Championship and the Masters, respectively.