LIV Golf Viewership Tanks After Day 1

On Day 1 of the 2018 PGA Tour, LIV Golf posted disappointing viewing numbers. The company has been forced to defend its decision not to broadcast any golf on TV for free as it lost money because of low viewership.

The “liv golf leaderboard” is a website that tracks the top players and how many viewers they have. The site has seen a sharp drop in viewership after the first day of competition.

Dustin Johnson of 4 Aces GC putts on the seventh green during day two of the LIV Golf Invitational.

Dustin Johnson of 4 Aces GC putts on the seventh green during day two of the LIV Golf Invitational. Day 2 of the LIV Golf Invitational with Dustin Johnson | Chris Trotman/LIV Golf/Getty Images

The new LIV Golf tour is the trendiest thing in golf. Numerous high-profile PGA players have been lured away by the Saudi-funded Renegade Gold League, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, and now Bryson DeChambeau.

Hardcore and casual golf fans alike tuned in to see the first round of the inaugural LIV Golf tournament on Thursday, June 9. The numbers for Day 2 showed a sharp decline, suggesting that these viewers may not have like what they saw.

For the first-ever golf league, LIV Golf has recruited some of the greatest names in the industry.

Even though professional golfer Phil Mickelson referred to the Saudi Arabian organization behind LIV Gold as “scary mother******,” $200 million proved to be too much for old “Lefty” to refuse.

Along with other elite players including Kevin Na, Talor Gooch, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Branden Grace, Mickelson joined fellow major winners Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, and Charl Schwartzel in the new league.

PGA players Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed are also in with LIV Golf, despite the fact that they didn’t sign up in time for the inaugural tournament at the Centurion Club in London.

For these players, LIV Golf has a lot to offer. The league has fewer tournaments (eight) and fewer rounds per event (three) than the standard PGA tour schedule, in addition to the staggering amounts of money the circuit is handing out. In LIV Golf, there are also no cuts.

The inventive league also has other intriguing features. Fans won’t have to wait long to witness their favorite golfer since each event has a shotgun start. Additionally, a team tournament runs concurrently with each event to offer another level of competitiveness, and a draft takes place prior to each Thursday start.

Many viewers tuned in on Thursday to see what LIV Golf is all about because of the well-known athletes and the unique concept. Unfortunately for the league, a lot of fans left.

On Thursday, LIV Golf had a lot of viewers, but on Friday, not as many.

On Day 2 of LIV Tour, viewer attention has decreased.

Through 12:45 p.m. ET yesterday, coverage averaged 91,000 views on YouTube.

Until 12:45 PM ET today?

43,300 spectators, or less than half, were present.

(Source: @ApexMarketing)

— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 10, 2022

LIV Golf is novel and thrilling, but it also has issues.

Although the new structure is novel, it is also unsettling and may not be appealing to golf fans. Additionally, it is presently only accessible on YouTube in the United States.

Despite these difficulties, many inquisitive viewers were able to access Round 1 of the competition on YouTube on Thursday morning. Through 12:45 p.m. ET, coverage averaged 91,000 on YouTube, according to sports industry analyst Darren Rovell on Twitter.

The event they saw was frantic (and to some, chaotic), with everyone hitting the course simultaneously due to the shotgun start. A huge, bright, constantly-moving scoreboard filled up the left-hand quadrant of the display in place of the customary little leaderboard in the corner or an unnoticeable scroll at the bottom.

Fans could track (or potentially struggle to understand) each player’s score as well as the scores of the weirdly called teams on this big display. It was difficult to tell whether player belonged to which side or how Cleeks GC was doing in comparison to Hy Flyers GC or the Niblicks GC group.

Some spectators seem to have been unimpressed by the presentation. Through 12:45 p.m. ET on Friday, viewership decreased by more than half for whatever reason. On Day 2, just 43,300 spectators were present.

Will spectators return for Saturday’s championship game? 

Golf enthusiasts made it a point to watch Thursday morning’s first LIV Golf competition to find out what it was all about. Viewers didn’t make the same commitment on Friday since the tournament is in England, which is five hours ahead of the East Coast, and airs in the morning in the U.S.

In terms of audience, golf is and probably always will be a weekend sport.

As we approach the weekend, there aren’t many well-known athletes at the top of the list. Golfers Hennie Du Plessis (-6), Peter Uihlein (-4), and Oliver Bekker, who are less well-known, are in front of 2011 Masters champion Charl Swartzel at -9. (-3).

In terms of position at T-5, Dustin Johnson is not far behind. He trails Schwartzel by just eight shots, at -1. With a +4 score, Mickelson is well behind the leaders.

Perhaps there will be greater interest in the concurrent team competition on Saturday as well. Stinger GC (Louis Oosthuizen, Hennie du Plessis, Charl Schwartzel, and Branden Grace) are at -15 after two rounds. That is nine strokes better than Majestics GC and seven strokes better than Crushers GC (Peter Uihlein, Richard Bland, Phachara Khongwatmai, Travis Smyth) (Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sam Horsfield, Laurie Canter).

The LIV Golf ratings for this coming Saturday will reveal a lot about whether the renegade league will be a success right away.

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In his Groveling LIV golf announcement, Phil Mickelson challenges the PGA.

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