The CW Network has vowed not to drop coverage of anymore LIV Golf League events before they have reached their conclusion following backlash after the breakaway circuit’s most recent event in Tulsa.
Dustin Johnson prevailed in a three-way playoff against Cameron Smith and Branden Grace at Cedar Ridge Country Club, but viewers in some regions of America were left dismayed after CW affiliates pulled it off air with three holes of the regulation 54 still to play.
Instead, TV viewers were served old episodes of shows such as Family Feud or Penn & Teller, with many fans taking to social media to voice their criticism, while Jim Nantz appeared to aim a subtle dig at the perceived gaffe during the first round of the PGA Championship.
However, the CW Network has promised this will be an isolated incident according to the Sports Business Journal.
“The CW confirmed with the affiliate body – all 210 local stations – that in the event that this happens again, all stations will continue carrying the LIV Tournament through to completion,” the network said in a statement released by LIV.
“LIV Golf and CW Sports are learning together what will delight our fans and grow our franchises, and we’re proud that we are nimble and able to make adjustments as these learnings are made available.”
The controversial Saudi-funded breakaway tour launched in June of last year at the Centurion Club just outside London. It was free to watch on YouTube or the LIV Golf website in what Greg Norman described as the “beta season”, before a deal with the CW Network was announced ahead of the first event of the expanded league schedule for 2023.
As part of the agreement, only the weekend action will be broadcast live on TV in the US, with Friday’s first round available on the CW app. Johnson’s LIV Golf Tulsa win was his first of 2023 after topping the season-long individual standings in 2022.
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