Last week’s announcement by The CW that LIV Golf “will air in 100 percent of its markets across the United States” was thought of as a coup for the Saudi-operated golf league, but there are new details emerging about coverage plans.
Deadline reports that several CW affiliates will *not* be airing LIV Golf events, including all eight CBS-owned and operated affiliates across the country. Those eight affiliates are in Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, Tampa, Seattle, Detroit, Sacramento, and Pittsburgh. Additionally, the Weigel-owned affiliate in Chicago will not air LIV, nor will Tegna-owned affiliates like San Diego and Hartford.
Across the country, CW affiliates are “contractually obligated to air primetime programming” per Deadline, but that doesn’t apply to LIV events, which take place in the daytime.
In the release last week, it was mentioned that “Nexstar owned and operated stations in key markets including Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Tampa and Hartford” would air LIV events, a detail glossed over by many. Nexstar owns MyNetworkTV affiliates in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Tampa, and Hartford, as well as the unaffiliated WGN in Chicago.
Deadline also reported that the 12 Scripps-owned affiliates (Miami and Phoenix, most notably) were “late in agreeing” to air the events, and only because of the decision last year to launch Scripps Sports. Sinclair, owner of 30 affiliates (Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, San Antonio) whose affiliation agreement with The CW expires in August, also “took its time” in deciding to air LIV, and is rumored to be “receiving some sort of compensation” to broadcast the live golf events.
Earlier this week, it was reported that LIV’s five international events would be aired on a delay on The CW, though they’d be live on The CW app. The Friday rounds of all 14 tournaments will exclusively air on the app.