LIV Golf ratings fell even more for final round in Tucson

LIV Golf has major star power, but not enough buzz to draw a big TV audience to The CW.

Sports Business Journal reports that LIV Golf averaged 284,000 viewers for the second round of its tournament in Tucson on Saturday — and the number went down to 274,000 for the final round on Sunday.

The tournament was won by Danny Lee.

About 24 percent of homes were unable to watch the tournament because their local CW affiliate opted to carry other programming, according to the report.

The numbers also do not include streaming or out-of-home audience.

For comparison, the PGA Tour’s Valpar Championship averaged 1.6 million viewers on Saturday and 2.6 million viewers on Sunday on NBC, according to Showbuzz Daily.

Greg Norman is the CEO for LIV Golf.
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LIV Golf ratings have failed to impress since the Saudi-backed tour’s debut on The CW in February.

LIV Golf has poached a number of high-profile golfers from the PGA Tour, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Talor Gooch, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Ian Poulter.

The upstart golf tour had to spend gobs of money to sway those talents, included a reported $200 million for Mickelson and about $125 million for Johnson — and these guaranteed sums were before LIV pays out big purses for winning their events.

LIV Golf is headed up by Greg Norman.

Phil Mickelson was paid a reported $200 million to leave the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.
Phil Mickelson was paid a reported $200 million to leave the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.
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Last week, PGA Tour loyalist Fred Couples made fun of the struggles LIV Golf was having with its TV deal.

“It was on the CW a couple weeks ago, or whatever that channel everybody is laughing about,” Couples said.

“I turned it on three times. It was so bad, I couldn’t even watch anyone that I liked. They don’t show ’em. … Who won the last one? I don’t even know.”

In fairness, The CW is not a network known for its live sporting events, and it would be interesting to see how LIV Golf would have done on a more traditional channel had it landed a deal with one of them.