Days after LIV Golf saw the ending of its tournament get preempted for local news, reruns and informercials, The CW vows not to let it happen again.
Last week, LIV Golf was supposedly enjoying an exciting finish at its event in Tulsa. So exciting that Donald Trump even implored his Truth Social following to check it out. But minutes after Trump urged everyone to follow him to The CW, 83 percent of the network’s affiliates bumped LIV for alternate programming.
The incident has been widely mocked, and even garnered a snide remark from Jim Nantz during Thursday’s first-round coverage of the PGA Championship. But after days of ridicule, The CW and LIV agreed not to let a similar situation arise again.
“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.”
Previously, CW affiliates were not required to carry LIV events beyond its announced broadcast window. And last week, a two-hour weather delay during the final round caused the tournament to continue past the expected 6pm ET sign-off. When the clock struck 6 p.m., 20 percent of affiliates switched off LIV Golf. And at 6:30, another 63 percent of affiliates opted for previously scheduled programming, telling LIV fans they could use The CW app to watch the event’s conclusion.
This is bad news for fans of skincare informercials, who might now have to sit through more LIV Golf before getting to their preferred programming. According to the Sports Business Journal, a CW spokesperson said The CW app saw a 373% usage increase at 6:30 on Sunday. But it’s hard to imagine the baseline audience for The CW app is too high on a Sunday evening.
LIV CEO Greg Norman boasted about the tour’s partnership with The CW after it was announced in January. But when 83 percent of affiliates turn away from the product, it doesn’t boast a perception that The CW mutually values its partnership with LIV.