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LIV Golf has reported that the opening weekend of its 2023 season on the CW Network generated an audience of more than three million total viewers across all platforms. 

The inaugural event of the Saudi-funded circuit’s second season took place in Mexico last weekend, with Charles Howell III coming out on top for the first time in a LIV Golf tournament. 

According to audience measurement provider iSpot, along with internal CW and LIV Golf digital data, the coverage drew 3.2 million viewers in total.  

Part of a new rights deal with the CW announced on January 19, LIV Golf’s Saturday broadcast saw more than 1.6 million total viewers tune in on linear television including CW affiliates, Nexstar stations carrying LIV Golf in key markets, and out of home viewings, with more than 1.3 million total linear viewers on Sunday.  

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The league’s inaugural weekend of live coverage averaged a linear viewership of more than 537,000, surpassing the current season viewership average of NHL on ESPN and TNT (373,000), as well as the average US viewership of the 2023 Australian Open men’s final on ESPN (439,000) and the average ABC and ESPN viewership of 2022 Major League Soccer (343,000).  

LIV Golf’s 2023 opening tournament also saw the CW Network’s local market ratings for the time period increase by double digits in ten top US markets compared to their year-to-date weekend averages for the time period.

In addition, The CW’s weekend primetime national ratings were up 24% among total viewers compared to the network’s weekend season to date average, according to Nielsen. 

An indication of how new technology and capabilities are shaping consumer habits, new downloads of the CW App jumped by nearly one million in February, a 40% month-to-month increase in the lead-up to LIV Golf’s 2023 debut.  

Meanwhile, LIV Golf Plus, unveiled on February 23, was the weekend’s highest downloaded free sports app across major platforms, recording nearly 350,000 views over the tournament’s three days, whilst LIV Golf League and team social media accounts experienced 34 million video views throughout the tournament week. 

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“Our first weekend of live coverage for the 2023 LIV Golf season exceeded expectations,” said Will Staeger, LIV Golf’s Chief Media Officer. “It represented the LIV Golf League’s debut on the CW, the CW App, and the weekend’s highest downloaded free sports app, LIV Golf Plus.

“LIV has diversified its consumption model, tailoring our distribution to the way viewers consume their content – and these numbers reflect the new ways that sports are watched. 

“This is a long-term game of growing our viewership, but we are delighted with our start in the US and extremely encouraged by our global engagement. Our preliminary rollout with 12 international broadcast partners and counting signifies a far-reaching demand for LIV Golf, which will be delivered in over 160 territories to more than 380 million homes worldwide.”

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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