LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman gos to Capitol Hill as Saudi- backed league fights PGA Tour

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman visits Capitol Hill as Saudi-backed league battles PGA Tour

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LIV CEO and commissioner Greg Norman sees play on the 3rd hole throughout the last round of the LIV Golf Invitational Series Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

Brian Spurlock|Icon Sportswire|Getty Images

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman will be going to Capitol Hill today to meet members of Congress, as the Saudi- backed league tangles with the PGA Tour.

The PGA Tour has actually been lobbying versus LIV because2021 LIV gamers have actually submitted an antitrust fit versus the PGATour Meanwhile, the Justice Department has actually been penetrating the PGA Tour’s possible anticompetitive habits because July.

“LIV Golf is coming to the Hill this week to meet with lawmakers from both parties,” LIV’s chief representative, Jonathan Grella, informed CNBC. “Given the PGA Tour’s attempts to stifle our progress in reimagining the game, we think it’s imperative to educate members on LIV’s business model and counter the Tour’s anti-competitive efforts.”

Norman is slated to meet numerous legislators.Reps Nancy Mace, R-N.C., and Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif, lead the casual congressional golf caucus.

Representatives for the PGA Tour, Mace and Panetta didn’t instantly react to an ask for remark.

The LIV Golf league was established as a rival to the PGA Tour and is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public InvestmentFund LIV has currently poached significant golf players such as Phil Mickelson from the PGA Tour, and Norman himself is a previous trip star. The trip, in turn, has actually disallowed LIV-affiliated gamers from taking part in its occasions.

LIV Golf has actually regularly called out the PGA Tour’s actions as anti-competitive. The upstart league stated that the PGA’s suspension of LIV gamers was an “effort to stifle competition.”

From the opposite, critics have actually called out the league’s associations with the Saudi federal government, seeing it as an effort at “sportswashing” to enhance the country’s image. Critics have actually likewise kept in mind that the Saudi federal government’s amazing wealth makes any concept of real competitors a moot point. LIV has another effective fan in previous President Donald Trump, whose Bedminster, New Jersey, nation club hosted a league occasion over the summertime. His Doral course in Miami will hold another LIV occasion at the end of October.

Since 2021, the PGA Tour has actually paid $360,000 to the company DLA Piper to lobby legislators on several subjects consisting of “Saudi Golf League proposals.” Several legislators– consisting ofSens Jeff Merkley, D-Ore Patrick Leahy, D-Vt, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn– have actually revealed issue about LIV.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has actually taken a tough line versus LIV.

“We welcome good, healthy competition. The LIV Saudi Golf League is not that. It’s an irrational threat, one not concerned with the return on investment or true growth of the game,” Monahan informed press reporters previously this year.

LIV Golf has actually likewise been looking for a media offer, as the league has actually been self-broadcasting its best season on its site and on YouTube. Recent reports stated Apple and Amazon handed down an a protection offer. The league’s Chief Media Officer Will Staeger informed CNBC that he is “highly optimistic” it will have a collaboration for its 2023 season. The PGA Tour has handle CBS, ESPN and NBC.

Disclosure: NBC and CNBC share the exact same moms and dad business, NBCUniversal.

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