Jared Kushner’s LIV Golf Connection


Sun, sand and crabcakes on the Delaware coast. Now it is what I call a vacation. See you next week.

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, has tapped one of his US media contacts to try to help the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour secure a rights deal medias.


Earlier this month, shortly after LIV’s event at the Trump-owned golf course in Bedminster, NJ, Kushner called on one of Paramount’s top executives, which owns CBS, to try to revive the negotiations. The former senior White House adviser did not work for LIV in an official capacity, according to a source familiar with the call. It’s unclear who Kushner called. ” A phone call. Totally informal. It took a very short time to do an intro,” the source said.

So far, LIV has hosted three tournaments, none of which have aired on traditional linear television in the United States. Talks with national networks stalled, sources said, which is why Kushner offered to pass the call to a senior Paramount executive.

It’s no surprise that someone in Kushner’s position is trying to help LIV. Trump-owned golf courses host two of the eight LIV events, including Trump National Golf Club Doral which hosts the series finale in late October. Kushner and Trump attended the event in Bedminster.

Last year, Kushner’s private equity firm, Affinity Partners, secured a $2 billion investment from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which funded LIV, in addition to taking stakes in the Premier club. League Newcastle, according to a NY Times report. Critics have called these types of deals “sportswashing,” which is a means for a repressive regime to improve its image.

The PGA Tour is the biggest obstacle for LIV to sign a deal with American television. NBC, CBS and ESPN just started nine-year deals with the PGA Tour this season and so far haven’t sought a deal with a rival league. Warner Bros. Discovery has several international deals with the PGA Tour and hasn’t been active in sports rights negotiations overall since David Zaslav took over this spring.

Fox, perhaps, makes the most sense, especially given a close relationship between LIV’s Greg Norman and Fox’s Rupert Murdoch – both from Australia. But after initial talks failed, Fox did not have formal negotiations with LIV.

LIV executives still expect to collect a royalty from an American media outlet. It faces a lot of headwinds, however. Due to the controversial nature of the league, it has been difficult to convince sponsors to participate – which would make it nearly impossible for US networks to recoup any kind of investment in rights fees.

Another problem: the schedules of the network are already complete until the end of the year. Most networks wouldn’t be able to air LIV events on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons in the fall. Take Fox, for example. The network already has MLB, college football, NFL and FIFA World Cup commitments through the fall and winter.

In the absence of a TV deal, LIV streamed its events via YouTube, Facebook, and its own webpage. So far, these streams have failed to garner a significant audience. For example, his Bedminster YouTube stream last month had an average concurrent stream of just 74,000 on Sundays.

Kushner is not expected to do more outreach on LIV’s behalf or play an ongoing role in future media discussions, the source said.

Notre Dame receives about $25 million a year from its current NBC deal, which runs until 2025. Sources say the school should expect about $60 million a year from a new contract — although it’s hard to predict what the media industry will look like three years from now. now.

There had been speculation that Notre Dame might demand a rights fee in excess of $75 million per year when renegotiating its new contract. That’s because it fills its schedule with games — like its longtime rivalry with Navy — that traditionally generate lower odds.

Obviously, Notre Dame would remain independent if it accepted a new rights agreement. But its association with NBC – and NBC’s new association with the Big Ten – makes it likely the Fighting Irish would add more Big Ten games to its schedule.

In other words, expect a return to Notre Dame’s rivalry with Michigan before 2033, when they are next due to meet. The last two played in 2019. This season, Notre Dame has a Big Ten school (Ohio State) and a future Big Ten school (USC) on its schedule.

Disney today responded to a letter from Third Point’s Daniel Loeb, “reaffirming CEO Bob Chapek’s leadership and rebuffing Loeb’s call for a ‘refresh’ of the company’s board of directors,” notes. . “We welcome the views of all of our investors,” the letter reads in part.

Loeb recently acquired a notable stake in Disney and “has called for sweeping changes,” including an ESPN spin-off, reports Bloomberg News. “ESPN is an excellent company that is currently generating significant free cash flow,” Loeb said in the letter. “Despite these benefits, we believe it is arguable that the ESPN business should be transferred to shareholders with appropriate leverage that will reduce the leverage of the parent company.”

Loeb’s outreach to Chapek “will likely put pressure on the company to justify its costs and explain why ESPN should remain part of the entertainment giant.” ESPN+ has gained momentum, with subscribers up 62% in the past 12 months to 22.3 million, “after years of anemic growth.” But the streaming platform “still isn’t making any money”.

Loeb also wrote that, if parted ways, ESPN would have “greater flexibility to pursue business initiatives that may be more challenging within the Disney framework, such as sports betting.” Erik Hayden of The Hollywood Reporter writes that while the US sports betting market is growing, “Disney’s family branding may be at odds with full embrace of this revenue stream.”

  • Fox Sports plans to bring a team of 150 people to Qatar to facilitate its coverage of the FIFA World Cup, including about 30 on-air personalities, reports my colleague Alex Silverman. “It’s a small army that we’re supporting,” executive producer David Neal said. He proclaimed that the company would be the first in American television history to have commentators in the stadium for all 64 games.
  • Sensing the time is right to invest more in content, NASCAR is pouring new resources into creating an agency-like division called NASCAR Studios that will work with the industry on digital and social media projects, Adam reports. Stern from SBJ.
  • Those optimistic about the value of NWSL franchises expect the league to secure significant increases in media rights revenue in upcoming renewals, write SBJ’s Chris Smith and Silverman. The league’s streaming deal with Amazon-owned Twitch expires at the end of this season, and its TV deal with CBS expires at the end of next season.
  • Amazon expects a significant portion of every “Thursday Night Football” game’s viewers to watch on smaller screens, which meant delivering a graphics package that would look great on big screens while remaining functional on smaller ones. . Amazon gave SBJ a first look at the new graphics, pictured below.

Amazon has taken care to ensure that the graphics display well on mobile phones and tablets

From next month, Amazon will start streaming ‘Thursday Night Football’ games through its Prime Video service