LIV Golf Needs Merger to Happen Badly Than PGA Tour; Here’s Why

Published 02/11/2024, 7:59 AM EST

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Golf fans are still waiting for any updates about the PGA Tour-PIF merger. At the time of the initial amalgamation announcement, December 31 was set as the deadline for the agreement between the two. Interestingly, both parties also missed their deadline, and then, Jay Monahan and Co. shook hands with SSG for $3B. With these developments, many thought the deal between the Tour and PIF had been thrown in a cold bag. But is that the case? The golf world will find out soon. Meanwhile, it may look like LIV Golf has the upper hand in the deal since they are PIF’s initial investment in golf, but is it true?

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The probable merger means better relations between Saudis and the PGA Tour, but tension between the American Tour and LIV Golf has been at an all-time high since June 2023. As a result, the Backway League desperately needs the PGA Tour to agree to a merger for one reason!

LIV Golf may lose a major revenue stream if the $3B merger falls through

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When talks about the deal first started, it looked like the PGA Tour was trying to save itself and survive. But in a matter of months, the scenario has changed. Now they are looking to start a new entity, and the Saudis have gone backfoot. Furthermore, this unexpected delay in the merger is causing the breakaway league to lose millions!

via Reuters

What is the reason for losing millions? Not having a way to generate TV revenue. As of now, all events of the Saudi-backed league are broadcast by CW in the United States. However, only the weekend rounds get aired on TV. The first round ends up being on the CW app and YouTube. In this scenario, the breakaway league is losing revenue that it could potentially generate by televising the first round as well.

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LIV Golf did have a solution ready. Unfortunately, it relied heavily on the PGA Tour-PIF merger. In August 2023, LIV chief media officer Will Staeger said in an interview with Golf.com that they were in talks with other broadcasters. However, the plan was to take the “framework agreement” and the reputation as PGA Tour’s partner as the backbone of this deal. Now they cannot execute the plan until the merger.

Is the deal between the PGA Tour and PIF canceled?

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Despite many rumors, the deal between the PGA Tour and the PIF is still alive. This fact was revealed in the deal between the Tour and SSG. In the memo sent out to PGAT players, a statement read that the PIF has the chance to invest in the future, but it will be subject to all necessary regulatory approvals.”

Furthermore, the SSG also holds influence over the merger now. The statement read, “In addition, today the PGA Tour confirmed progress in its ongoing negotiations with PIF on a potential future investment, and both parties are working towards an ultimate agreement. SSG has consented to an investment by PIF, subject to any necessary regulatory review and approvals.”

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Their initial verdict is that they have agreed to let PIF invest in the new entity of the traditional league. However, they are free to change their views when necessary. All this means that the PIF now has to appease both the PGA Tour and SSG to invest in the new entity. And it would be desperately trying to do so if it wanted to cash in on the revenue generated from television broadcasts of LIV Golf.

Watch This Story | LIV Golf News: 3 Major Takeaways as the $3B PGA Tour-PIF Merger Deadline Gets Extended, as Per Reports

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Written by:

Ajitesh Rawat

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Ajitesh Rawat is a Senior Golf Writer at EssentiallySports. He honed his reader mindset and developed a unique content lens thanks to many months spent as a content analyst at ES. Now, as an ace journalist, he has over 800 published pieces and applies those skills to connect better with readers through his extensive coverage of the LPGA and their lesser-known players.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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