LIV Golf claims PGA Tour ‘used illegal means to dissuade’ broadcasters

Sportem
Sportem
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The struggle to agree on the deposition terms for a PGA Tour executive has led to some new allegations in the ongoing legal battle between the Tour and LIV Golf.

Documents submitted late Wednesday night in U.S. federal court include a LIV Golf accusation that the PGA Tour intervened in its dealings with potential broadcast networks.

“Based on (PGA Tour) documents and other sources, LIV believes Mr. Pascal used illegal means to dissuade numerous broadcasters in international markets from signing broadcast contracts with LIV and even from reporting about LIV events in their news content,” LIV lawyers claim in the filing, referring to Thierry Pascal, the PGA Tour’s managing director for international media./

More from the filing: “Time and again, after the live meeting or phone call, the broadcaster did an about-face and informed LIV the negotiations (in one case, a signed contract) could not proceed. Because of his conduct and his efforts to conceal it, Mr. Pascal is a foundational witness whose testimony will inform later discovery in important ways.”

The lawyers for the upstart circuit led by Greg Norman and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund did not mention the media company which signed a contract in the filing, but did state that because of the Tour’s actions, LIV was forced to sign “with a secondary network,” referring to the CW Network, which signed a multi-year revenue-sharing TV deal with LIV in January. Golfweek was first to report LIV was nearing a deal with Fox Sports last September.

U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman ordered “the deposition of Thierry Pascal will take place, in person, no later than April 14, 2023.”

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