CW Taps iSpot to Count LIV Golf Tournament Viewers

The CW is hoping advertisers will take another swing at its unorthodox new golf tournament if it offers some different ways of doing transactions that involve it.

The network, recently brought under control of Nexstar Media Group, will work with iSpot.TV, one of a handful of new providers of audience-measurement technologies, to measure the effectiveness of commercials attached to linear and digital broadcasts of tournaments backed by LIV Golf, the upstart league financed by Saudi Arabia. CW is to air 14 global LIV Golf League live events in 2023 and will stream the events live on its app. Weekend tournaments will air live on Saturdays and Sundays on the linear network, and stream online Fridays.

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“With this unprecedented integration of experiential omnichannel activations across digital and linear, as well as traditional and offline channels, we needed a measurement provider who could keep pace with our innovative approach to consumer monetization and we found one in iSpot,” said Michael Strober, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of Nexstar Media Group, in a prepared statement.

iSpot has already struck partnerships with a variety of other media outlets, including NBCUniversal. Many traditional media conglomerates have demonstrated a willingness to test new technologies that will lead to the creation of new types of currencies for audience tabulation. Nielsen remains the most widely-used vendor, but several media companies have expressed frustration with the company’s efforts to keep up with consumers as they migrate to digital video consumption.

The CW’s early broadcasts of LIV tournaments have not lured big crowds. The first two broadcasts drew an average of 288,500 viewers and a 0.18 household rating on Saturday and Sunday, according to data from Nielsen.

Speaking during a recent call with investors, Nexstar CEO Perry Sook expressed satisfaction with the league’s early CW performance. “Those numbers exceeded our expectations and, and most importantly, the affiliates, as well as our own stations, were thrilled,” the executive said, adding that 1.4 million people watched at least a few minutes of the LIV event across the broadcast network and CW app from Friday to Sunday.

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