To the outside world, the inaugural weekend of LIV Golf coverage on The CW didn’t seem to go very well.
However, don’t tell that to the CEO of the company that owns the network.
“We’re very pleased with our first weekend of LIV Golf,” Nexstar Media Group CEO Perry Sook told Broadcasting & Cable on Tuesday.
LIV and CW agreed to a deal in January for the network to carry Saturday and Sunday coverage of the Saudi-backed golf series during their 2023 season. While it was initially announced by Nexstar that every CW affiliate would carry LIV coverage, it was later reported that a sizable number of affiliates had opted out. The first broadcast of the year was a ratings disappointment, garnering a 0.2 overnight and failing to average more than 300,00o viewers on either day.
Still, Sook sees the silver linings.
“The linear broadcast ratings increased 21% from Saturday to Sunday,” he said. “Those numbers exceeded our expectations.”
Sook also told B&C that the weekend coverage was viewed “by over 1.4 million total viewers across both the CW linear TV network and the CW app,” a number which “was 24% higher than the average golf telecast so far this year.”
Sook added that LIV Golf ad buys were selling “very well” and that Nexstar stations were generating triple the revenue from LIV Golf than they would have gotten with another programming.
“I think we’ll continue to grow as we get more into the season,” he said.
Sook also said that Nexstar was also interested in putting more sports on The CW Network, which means there could be some conversations with leagues and pro sports franchises impacted by the ongoing RSN drama.