After a lengthy run at CBS and a slightly shorter (but still notable) stay at NBC, David Feherty is headed to LIV Golf’s broadcast crew as an analyst.
That’s according to this New York Post report from Andrew Marchand:
Golf analyst David Feherty and NBC have parted ways, and he is expected to join the LIV Golf tour’s broadcasts, The Post has learned.
Feherty is expected to be an analyst on the 8-to-10 LIV Golf tournaments each year, according to sources. LIV Golf had previously signed former NBC soccer play-by-player Arlo White as its host.
Feherty, 63, has been known for his irreverence, which he first displayed on CBS for more than two decades before moving to NBC and the Golf Channel the past seven years.
While at NBC, Feherty covered the Olympics, among other non-golf events, and hosted his long-running Feherty interview/panel show on Golf Channel. His work on golf broadcasts across CBS and NBC for nearly three decades makes him an obvious candidate for LIV to go after; few working broadcasters are more synonymous with golf to the American viewing audience.
For Feherty, the move almost has to be motivated by money. LIV is throwing around piles of Saudi money, and at 63, Feherty is clearly on the backside of his broadcasting career. He’d been somewhat marginalized at NBC, relative to his CBS days, and his Golf Channel series recently ended. It’s certainly not for a bigger platform; LIV currently has no traditional distribution, and that seems at least a fair bit of time away from
Obviously he’s okay with the morality of the choice, which is only going to help legitimize LIV even further despite some real questions about the viability of the product they’re offering so far. (Feherty’s former colleague Nick Faldo raised plenty of these questions on the air, even.)
From LIV’s side, it fits with just about everything we’ve seen from their strategy. Going after established names by throwing money at them is really the only innovation they’ve displayed, and that’s hardly a new strategy. The problem, though, is that if you were really trying to “disrupt” golf by improving the product offered by the PGA Tour, both on the course and from a presentation standpoint, why would you want to just add a 63-year-old analyst who has in some ways defined American golf presentation for decades now?
The answer, of course, is that LIV doesn’t exist to upend or disrupt or whatever other startup buzzword they’ll use next. It exists to launder Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, which so far plenty of people in the world of golf have had no issues helping them do. Obviously a huge sum of money is different for a broadcaster like Feherty (or Jerry Foltz or Arlo White, etc.) than it is a player who has already made tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, but it’s still worth pointing out every time someone like this joins LIV.
Let’s hope Charles Barkley doesn’t follow Feherty down this particular road.