Despite what can only be described as laughable TV ratings, it appears that LIV Golf isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The Saudi-backed startup golf league has proven a thorn in the side for the long-established PGA Tour since its creation a year ago.
From poaching players, to picking fights and trying to alter the Official World Golf Rankings formula, LIV is doing everything it can to shake up the golf landscape.
That includes filing a civil antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
LIV Golf Claims PGA Tour Exec Used ‘Illegal Means’ To Prevent TV Deal
In the latest filings surrounding that case, LIV alleges that PGA Tour executive Thierry Pascal used “illegal means’ to dissuade international broadcasters from airing LIV events.
“Based on [PGA] Tour documents and other sources, LIV believes Mr. Pascal used illegal means to dissuade numerous broadcasters in international markets from signing broadcast contracts with LIV and even from reporting about LIV events in their news content,” LIV lawyers wrote in the filing.
“Time and again, after the live meeting or phone call, the broadcaster did an about face and informed LIV the negotiations (in one case, a signed contract) could not proceed. Because of his conduct and his efforts to conceal it, Mr. Pascal is a foundational witness whose testimony will inform later discovery in important ways.” – via Front Office Sports
Pascal serves as the managing director of PGA Tour International UK. LIV attorneys claim his effort were the reason why the league did not have a TV deal in 2022. LIV streamed its events exclusively on YouTube in 2022. The league has since agreed to a TV deal with The CW in the United States.
“Due to the [PGA] Tour’s and Mr. Pascal’s conduct, LIV did not obtain a domestic broadcast contract for 2022 and only isolated and marginal international contracts,” LIV attorneys wrote. “The domestic contract it finally signed for 2023 is with a secondary network, with LIV being its first sporting event. The Tour has touted LIV’s ratings as demonstrating the public is not interested in its product. LIV needs to take Mr. Pascal’s deposition to get to the truth in the interest of justice.”