The National Press Club has called on The CW’s new owner, Nexstar, to “explain why they collaborated with a journalist’s killers,” allying with Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Gulf.
Nexstar announced on Thursday that it had entered into a multi-year deal for The CW to become LIV’s U.S. television broadcasting and streaming home. As part of the deal, The CW will broadcast 14 global LIV Golf League live events in 2023; weekend tournaments air on Saturdays and Sundays on The CW and on Fridays on The CW app.
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“Our new partnership between The CW and LIV Golf will bring a whole new audience and add to the growing global excitement for the competition,” CW President Dennis Miller said in a statement. “CW’s broadcasts and streams allow more fans across the country and around the world to participate in the LIV Golf energy and watch the innovative competition that has reinvented the sport.”
But it is precisely that kind of image-building for LIV Golf, which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, that the National Press Club – a global professional organization for journalists – takes offense at, citing Washington Post 2018 assassination of reporter Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by Saudi government agents, allegedly at the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“We are deeply disappointed that a company that monetizes news like Nexstar would agree to participate in such an embarrassing public relations stunt as LIV Golf, which is fundamentally designed to restore Saudi reputation, which has been irreparably tarnished by the state-ordered horrific murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018,” the National Press Club statement said. “We wonder what Nexstar stands for. You can’t have a brand in the news and behave like that. Arabia killed one Washington Post journalist and cut him into pieces with a bone saw.
“Riyadh wants to use golf to make Americans forget about murder. We must not let them get away with it,” the statement continued. “We are calling on Nexstar employees – many of whom are journalists – to demand management explain why they are collaborating with a journalist’s killers. We urge Nexstar to do the right thing and cancel their goddamn golf show. And if they don’t drop the program, here’s what we can do: don’t watch; and write to each sponsor asking them not to sponsor.
TVLine has reached out to both Nexstar and The CW for comment.
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