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LIV Golf loses streaming partner mid-season

Last Updated: July, 8 2024
LIV Golf loses streaming partner mid-season

Read more: LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman Interrupts Bryson DeChambeau's Shot on the 15th Hole


The upstart LIV Golf series has lost its streaming rights partner midway through its inaugural season after Caffeine TV unexpectedly ceased operations this week.


Caffeine TV, an emerging digital streaming platform that had secured a multi-year deal to broadcast LIV Golf events online, announced on Wednesday that it is shutting down effective immediately. In a message on its website, Caffeine TV cited lagging profits and an inability to achieve profitability as the reasons for the abrupt closure.



The shutdown leaves LIV Golf without a dedicated streaming outlet to broadcast the remainder of its 2022 events, which include six more tournaments internationally through October. LIV will now have to scramble to find a new partner to carry its streaming rights for the rest of this season.


Securing a streaming deal had been viewed as a key strategic move for LIV Golf in its inaugural year. The Saudi-backed series was hoping to leverage the booming market for online sports rights deals and attract one of the major platforms like Netflix or Amazon.


Instead, LIV signed with lesser-known Caffeine TV, puzzling many in the golf and media industries given its small audience reach and unproven business model. The deal now looks like a missed opportunity for LIV to get established with a larger, more stable partner.


Caffeine TV's closure underscores the challenges LIV faces in achieving sizable and sustainable broadcast agreements. Without robust TV or digital media rights deals, it will be difficult for LIV to generate the revenues necessary to establish itself as a truly viable long-term competitor on the pro golf landscape.


LIV will now have to explore returning to self-distribution of its streams online or pursuing a replacement partner on short notice. But with the top streaming Giants already locked into long-term league deals, viable options may be limited halfway through LIV's inaugural season.


How the Saudi-backed circuit responds could be pivotal in determining its long-term viability, as it remains in search of legitimacy through distribution and viewership after its launch was met with controversy over its funding source.


(Image credit: Getty Images)


What other streaming platforms are interested in partnering with LIV Golf


LIV Golf has hit a stumbling block in its first season after losing its streaming partner. Caffeine TV was set to show LIV's Friday coverage and original content on platforms like YouTube and CW's app.


But the company shut its doors a few months later, citing financial troubles. Now LIV is left without a way to reach online audiences for the rest of the year.


It's a rough spot for LIV to be in. Their shows on CW aren't pulling in huge viewers either. Without lucrative TV deals, it'll be tough for the new league to stand on its own two feet instead of relying on Saudi money.


For now, early rounds are still on YouTube thankfully. But weekends can only be watched through LIV Golf Plus or CW. LIV also started their own service, LIV Golf Plus, to go along with network partners worldwide.


Figuring out who will distribute their product digitally is crucial. But losing Caffeine TV unexpectedly has put them in a scramble. How LIV bounces back from this bump in the road will be interesting to see. They need stability in these partnerships ASAP to really take root.


The LIV Golf Plus app has added a new “Any Shot, Any Time” feature, allowing fans to watch every shot from any player in the field. (Image credit: Getty Images/@flushingitgolf)





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Sarah has a strong background in sports journalism, with a degree in journalism from a top university in the US. She has covered men's professional golf for over 10 years, attending major tournaments around the world and building an extensive network within the men's golf community. Her writing is known for its in-depth analysis, insider access, and ability to bring the drama and excitement of professional golf to life for readers.

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