PGA, LIV tours to merge

jercra

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radsoxfan

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Generally speaking, when a bunch of wealthy businessmen decide to give "shares worth X" to a bunch of people who know nothing about business.... I'm highly skeptical.

Can the shares be sold? Who came up with this "12B valuation"?

Seems like a way to stop the talent drain and try to convince the players they are getting something of value without actually paying them anything (aside from prize $ of course)
 

jercra

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I think this is probably something close to what the final product will be if they get the PIF Investment. There will be a sclaed back Tour for the elite guys. Probably looks something similar to the signature events this year, maybe spread out a bit and at new locations.

Then the non-signature weeks will look similar to what they do now and the mules will try to qualify for the elite Tour those weeks. LIV or some sort of team component sprinkled in throughout the fall or other down periods but will co-exist. Players who went to LIV won't get equity in the new company but will be able to play both. One big happy family. Except for the mules, probably.

As for the TV product, I've always thought they should just put ads on the screen during coverage to cut down on the actual breaks. Feels like it wouldn't be overly intrusive to have a Titleist logo on the screen somewhere during play. It'd be annoying at first but then everyone would get used to it and theoretically could reduce the commercial time (althought knowing them they'll take this, add the on-screen advertising, and maintain the same ad load).
I think this seems like the case, but viewership for the Zurich (team play) is not higher than other formats. Quite the opposite.

Ads overlaid on the course, a la hockey glass/boards, is discussed quite frequently, but the TV contracts for the TOUR are different than other sports in that the TOUR actually sells most of the ads and guarantees revenue to some degree. New/different ad revenue streams would require a number of parties to agree on a number of things that may not be in all parties' best interests. I do believe that the involvement of SSG (and PIF) will bring all of these things and more to the table in the future though.
 

jercra

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Jul 31, 2006
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Generally speaking, when a bunch of wealthy businessmen decide to give "shares worth X" to a bunch of people who know nothing about business.... I'm highly skeptical.

Can the shares be sold? Who came up with this "12B valuation"?

Seems like a way to stop the talent drain and try to convince the players they are getting something of value without actually paying them anything (aside from prize $ of course)
By the same token, if billionaires agreed it's worth $12B and did so by investing $1.5-3B of their money, you have to believe they intend to make money off of that, which means selling "shares" to someone.
 

radsoxfan

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By the same token, if billionaires agreed it's worth $12B and did so by investing $1.5-3B of their money, you have to believe they intend to make money off of that, which means selling "shares" to someone.
Maybe I misunderstood the press release (or your post), but it doesn't look like they are selling any shares.

Players seem to get shares with sweat equity. Stay here for X years and then get shares that vest over time. Will the shares have as much value as they claim? I suppose time will tell.

For the record, it's a common playbook in private equity take overs of medical practices (plus many other things I'm sure). Perhaps I'm projecting and this isn't actually what is going on with the PGA. But in general, these players are probably pretty naive and getting taken advantage of to some degree.

Having said that, at the moment they don't really own anything and live off of purses. So I suppose anything these monopoly $ shares are worth in the future, even if it's less than they are told, is just a bonus.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
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This is a topic for another thread probably but this has been at the forefront of my brain recently as well. EVERYTHING I watch or consume now is just bombarded with ads. And ridiculous, low quality ads for shit that shouldn't be advertised. Whether it's terrible ads on Twitter that I don't even want to share, ads for drugs/insurance/deodorant constantly on YoutubeTV, or ads for god knows what on Youtube and other streaming apps. It's just a nonstop barrage and really has me wondering why I'm bothering to consume anything anymore.

In the past at least the stuff in commercials was normal, like cars, beverages, food, etc. I didn't like it, but I understood and they weren't terrible and didn't feel like I was under siege. Now it's everywhere, or at least it just feels that way. Maybe I'm getting old but it hit home for me like a month ago and I can't get over it.

Rant over.
That's just it, it's not everything. I mostly watch things on HBO, Prime, and Disney and there are no ads. Then I turn on something like PGA Tour golf and it's sooo many ads. A quarter to a third of the content is ads? It's jarring. I was obviously used to it years ago but now it stands out because I'm becoming accustomed to not seeing them.

I don't see myself ponying up for ad-free PGA Tour golf either (if that even became an option). Rather leaning toward watching less. Which eventually becomes not watching. My cable services has already almost become a Red Sox game viewing service, but as more of their games move to pay-walled streaming I've been thinking the days of consuming broadcast television at home may be numbered.
 

jercra

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Maybe I misunderstood the press release (or your post), but it doesn't look like they are selling any shares.

Players seem to get shares with sweat equity. Stay here for X years and then get shares that vest over time. Will the shares have as much value as they claim? I suppose time will tell.

For the record, it's a common playbook in private equity take overs of medical practices (plus many other things I'm sure). Perhaps I'm projecting and this isn't actually what is going on with the PGA. But in general, these players are probably pretty naive and getting taken advantage of to some degree.

Having said that, at the moment they don't really own anything and live off of purses. So I suppose anything these monopoly $ shares are worth in the future, even if it's less than they are told, is just a bonus.
Shares in private companies given to key stakeholders isn't really new or all that obscure. When the shares vest, they can sell them to whoever is willing to buy them for whatever they are willing to pay. My point was that a bunch of billionaires either believe that number will be higher than it is today, or they don't mind losing a lot of money.

Also, for clarity, it is not sweat equity in the PGA TOUR. The players are not labor. The TOUR exists only to service the players.
 

radsoxfan

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Also, for clarity, it is not sweat equity in the PGA TOUR. The players are not labor. The TOUR exists only to service the players.
They presumably only get the shares if they stay on the Tour and don't go to LIV, right? They vest over time if they keep playing on the PGA tour. Call it whatever you want, but it's based on their continued participation on the PGA Tour and not jumping ship.

Instead of just giving $ to players like LIV, it sounds like the Tour has decided to entice players to stay with shares in this new PGA enterprise. While the shares I'm sure have some value (and could have a lot of value), that future value is also a lot more uncertain than getting money now like the LIV players are getting.
 

jercra

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Firstly, none of us have any idea what the pay structure is for LIV. They certainly didn't get it all in a lump sum, so presumably they need to keep playing for LIV to earn their whole contract.

Secondly, that's how every stock grant works. It has a vesting schedule. If you leave before it all vests, you lose whatever hasn't vested yet. And it's always been used as a motivation to get talent to stay and to try to increase the value of the grants.
 

Dave Stapleton

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When the shares vest, they can sell them to whoever is willing to buy them for whatever they are willing to pay.
This overstates the liquidity of such arrangements but your point is generally true. These shares often come with significant transfer restrictions including rights of first refusal or other qualification criteria.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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LIV has partnered with Google and will be rolling out a "Any Shot, Any Time" product that will allow viewers to watch any shot during a broadcast.

View: https://twitter.com/JoshACarpenter/status/1753034003437785098?s=20
If executed well this will be a nice addition for golf coverage.

I've gotten into some YouTube golfers this past year, and this is definitely a page out of their increasing viewership. One of the pages I watch (BustaJack) consists of 2 guys who are near scratch golfers but would never really threaten tour pros. They had a hook about golfing in all 50 states last year and now are doing the 7 continents this year. The best part as a viewer is their videos showing the full round are edited to show every shot and some banter within 40 minutes or so.

If golf production could get to the state where it could be viewer's choice of sitting all afternoon on the couch and watching live or you could tune in 5pm Sunday, get the "executive summary" by blasting through all the shots from the leaders' rounds then catching up to see the last few holes live, that would at least be an offering to the non-traditional viewer.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
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Feb 22, 2004
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I very much like Bryson's YouTube channel. I think the PGA Tour and the announcers / media did him dirty with their coverage of him.

Also watching Rick Shiels fail at literally everything he attempts to do is fun. He still believes he can accomplish something, anything though. Amazing.

Thinking about it I've probably watched more YouTube golf content than PGA Tour golf content over the past year.
 

TheGazelle

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I very much like Bryson's YouTube channel. I think the PGA Tour and the announcers / media did him dirty with their coverage of him.

Also watching Rick Shiels fail at literally everything he attempts to do is fun. He still believes he can accomplish something, anything though. Amazing.

Thinking about it I've probably watched more YouTube golf content than PGA Tour golf content over the past year.
Agreed. I watch a lot of it and, like @Pablo's TB Lover notes, a lot of these folks do a good job of putting together entire rounds in under an hour, which is manageable. To say nothing of watching some of the stupid challenge videos these folks cook up.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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Cue the complaining about FSG not spending money on the Red Sox

https://nypost.com/2024/04/24/sports/tiger-woods-pga-tour-loyalty-worth-100-million-as-paydays-revealed/

"The Telegraph is reporting that players are receiving the money they earned by not bolting for LIV Golf and accepting the huge offers that were being made by the rival league.
Woods received the biggest payday at $100 million, with Rory McIlroy coming in at around $50 million.
The funds were made available after a group of investors led by Fenway Sports Group"
 

cshea

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It is a shitshow. I haven't been following as closely because I don't have the time or energy, so this is basically where I gather things stand based on podcast listening:.
  • The week after The Players, there was a pow-wow at Tiger's joint in the Bahamas between the Tour Policy Board and Al-Rumayaan. Apparently it was more of a get-to-know thing as opposed to real negotiations.
  • Rory attempted to get back on the Board but there were "certain segments of the board" that were uncomfortable with this so it ultimately didn't happen. He was going to take Webb Simpson's seat. Rory wrote if off as more of a policy thing than any animosity between the other playing Board members (Tiger, Spieth, Cantlay, Malnati, Simpson, Scott).
  • Jimmy Dunne, the guy who brokered and negotiated the original framework agreement, resigned his seat on the board, citing a lack of progress.
  • Tour announces the creation of a "negotiation committee" that does include Rory (and I believe John Henry and Sam Kennedy- At least one of them).
  • A second non-playing board member, Mark Flaherty, resigns.
  • Xander has been lighting up Monahan recently.
Snail crawl towards somekind of agreement that brings everyone back together. We're in June 2024 with no tangible progress so 2025 is looking to be more of the same and the earliest the new world of men's professional golf is born is 2026.