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Golf’s LIV Series fails to earn UK TV deal despite pitching to Sky Sports, BT Sport, DAZN and Co

The Saudi-backed insurgent golf tour which begins on the Centurion Club in St Albans on Thursday has failed to safe a UK TV deal despite pitching to all the key broadcasters.

Sportsmail has discovered that representatives of the LIV Series supplied rights to Sky Sports, BT Sport, DAZN and the key streaming companies with out attracting any critical curiosity.

Sky Sports is the house of golf within the UK, exhibiting over 100 tournaments every year together with all of the majors and the Ryder Cup, however didn’t search to tackle the £200million occasion. The broadcaster have shut hyperlinks to the PGA Tour so might have declined for political causes.

With no curiosity from UK channels, the LIV Series have opted to stream this week’s event free on their very own web site, YouTube and Facebook.

The Saudi-backed rebel golf tour which begins on Thursday has been snubbed for a UK TV deal

The Saudi-backed insurgent golf tour which begins on Thursday has been snubbed for a UK TV deal

Rory McIlroy, talking on the Canadian Open on Wednesday night time, stated: ‘It isn’t one thing I need to take part in. 

‘I perceive the fellows who went and I’m not knocking anybody, however I need to play on the PGA Tour in opposition to the very best on this planet. Any resolution you make purely for money often would not find yourself going the fitting means.’

Several of the world’s prime golf stars have chosen to bounce ship from the PGA Tour and join to the profitable and controversial new competitors, which is being backed by Saudi tycoons.

The event is being considered by many as the newest try from Saudi to masks its quite a few points surrounding human rights by sporting competitions.

The controversial new tournament, which the likes of Phil Mickelson (above) have broken away from the PGA Tour to play in, has been snubbed by the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport

The controversial new event, which the likes of Phil Mickelson (above) have damaged away from the PGA Tour to play in, has been snubbed by the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport

RIATH AL-SAMARRAI: Prime attraction Phil Mickelson conjured extra questions than solutions on his return from self-imposed exile… his future past the LIV Golf occasions stays a thriller however he’s very a lot trapped between a rock and a scary place

If golf’s pariah-in-chief harboured hopes of a mild return to the highlight, they weren’t realised in a Saudi-funded nook of St Albans on Wednesday. 

That Phil Mickelson by some means conjured extra questions than solutions would have as soon as been cited as proof of his means to work magic.

Not nowadays, in fact, with Mickelson’s popularity apparently locked on an inverse relationship along with his financial institution steadiness, which is claimed to have swelled by as a lot as £160m for his romance with the LIV Invitational Series.

Just just a few months in the past he was quoted as describing the Saudis as ‘scary mom*******’, finest used as ‘leverage’ in opposition to the ‘obnoxious greed’ of the PGA Tour. 

Well, with these manoeuvres having failed, Mickelson now finds himself the prime attraction for Thursday’s first spherical of the collection’ inaugural occasion on the Centurion Club, and very a lot trapped between a rock and a scary place.

Whether he might return to the PGA Tour, even when he needed to, was one of many points left hanging in a clumsy first press convention since he put himself in exile in February. 

Phil Mickelson somehow conjured more questions than answers on his return to the spotlight

Phil Mickelson by some means conjured extra questions than solutions on his return to the highlight

While the Tour are but to affirm what sanctions will probably be deployed in opposition to its rising checklist of defectors, which Bryson DeChambeau joined on Wednesday and Patrick Reed will quickly observe, Mickelson was in little temper for filling in gaps.

Indeed, when requested if he had, or is at present, serving a Tour ban for his feedback, he stated: ‘I select not to converse publicly on PGA Tour points right now.’

He stated the identical when requested if he could be punished by the Tour for his departure, and comparable when pushed on how he has come to share a mattress with the identical folks he was as soon as utilizing for leverage. ‘I’ve actually loved my time on the PGA Tour,’ the six-time main winner put ahead.

‘I’ve had some unbelievable experiences and I’ve loads of robust opinions on issues that ought to and may very well be quite a bit higher. One of the errors I’ve made is voicing these publicly. So I’ll actually make an effort to preserve these conversations behind closed doorways.’

Mickelson's reputation is apparently locked on an inverse relationship after an awkward press conference

Mickelson’s popularity is seemingly locked on an inverse relationship after a clumsy press convention

He was solely marginally extra forthcoming, if much less convincing, on the prescient question of whether or not this migration of expertise, and by extension essentially the most controversial growth in golf’s current historical past, was purely in regards to the money.

‘I do not essentially agree along with your premise,’ he stated. ‘But I believe the chance it supplies me to compete, deliver the game all through the world, play much less, have a greater steadiness in life – I do know it offers me loads of positives personally and professionally.’

That advantage of spreading golf ‘all through the world’ has been one of many staple solutions at this most contentious of breakaway occasions. 

It actually appears to have been put ahead as a justification, with Graeme McDowell on Tuesday having spoken of golf being a ‘pressure for good’. Whether that carries weight in steadiness to Saudi Arabia’s human rights document is doubtful at finest.

From there, he readied himself for a practice round with Lee Westwood (second from right) and the Saudi PIF head Yasir Al-Rumayyan (centre)

From there, he readied himself for a observe spherical with Lee Westwood (second from proper) and the Saudi PIF head Yasir Al-Rumayyan (centre)

Mickelson did converse on the latter, saying: ‘I do not condone human rights violations in any respect. I’m actually conscious of what has occurred with Jamal Khashoggi, and I believe it is horrible. I’ve additionally seen the great golf has carried out all through historical past, and I consider LIV Golf goes to do loads of good for the sport.’

It was later that he was immediately requested about his reputed signing-on payment of £160m for the eight-tournament collection. There was no correction of the sum. ‘I really feel that contract agreements must be personal,’ he stated. ‘Doesn’t appear to be the case however it must be.’

From there, he readied himself for a observe spherical with Lee Westwood and the Saudi PIF head Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who can be chairman of Newcastle United. If it clicks for him this week, hidden to all bar those that go to YouTube, Facebook and the LIV web site, he’ll pocket greater than £3m. Even if it would not, he will not be wanting a quid.

His future beyond these events remains a mystery, but he will compete at the US Open

His future past these occasions stays a thriller, however he’ll compete on the US Open

The 51-year-old’s future past these occasions stays a thriller, although he will probably be allowed to contest subsequent week’s US Open, and is ‘hopeful’ the inevitable authorized wranglings won’t forestall additional Ryder Cup involvement.

That may very well be tied to the remnants of his relationship with the PGA Tour, from which he has not resigned, in contrast to different main winners together with Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

‘I’ve been part of the Tour for over 30 years, and I’ve had loads of unbelievable reminiscences which have been shaped and experiences that I’ve shared,’ he stated. ‘I labored actually onerous to earn a lifetime exemption and I do not need to give that up. I do not consider I ought to have to. I do not know what meaning for a future.’

It is a sentiment that appears to apply for the entire of elite golf at this second.

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