Why the confusing Saudi Arabian international TV coverage needs to improve

Some of the best players in the world have gathered for this year’s Saudi international as it begins life as an Asian Tour event. No longer carried by Sky Sports, it has been revealed that UK free-to-air sports TV channel FreeSports has acquired the live broadcast rights to Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.

Regardless of anyone’s opinion of the tournament itself, the reportedly $15 million appearance fee, or the apparent attempts to “sportswash” the country’s human rights record, the prospect of free live golf was something to look forward to. That is, until it turns out it wasn’t free.

Fans in the UK and Ireland were left confused and disappointed as Premier Sports, the company that owns FreeSports, halted coverage at 10 a.m. – UK time – pending an upgraded subscription which costs £12, £99 per month. It’s definitely not a good way to endear the tournament to fans and try to build an audience.

Why the confusing Saudi Arabian international TV coverage needs to improve

Italian Matteo Manassero in the lead after the first round of the 2022 Saudi International

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Additionally, there has been a distinct lack of highlight coverage, which is regularly posted on social media and YouTube by the PGA and DP World Tours. With such a star-studded line-up, it’s a serious missed opportunity for the tournament organizers to try to establish some goodwill among the people who are so essential to the success of not just this tournament, but any potential plan. to develop the Asian Tour and the so-called Saudi separatist tour.

You can have all the money in the world, but if the product isn’t good enough, it will be a complete non-starter. And it’s not just us who are being noticed, with many viewers taking to Twitter to express their displeasure.

Here are some of the reactions:

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This is just the start, but if a Saudi-backed Super Golf League materializes and if the Asian Tour is to grow and compete with the two major golf tours, TV coverage simply needs to be better. Heck, it’s even hard to get a reliable, up-to-date leaderboard…

How to watch FreeSports TV

UK free-to-air sports TV channel FreeSports is owned by Premier Sports and launched in August 2017. There are several ways to access the service:

Sky HD – Channel 422; Virgin TV HD – Channel 553; Freeview – Channel 64; BT/TalkTalk – Channel 64; Online via FreeSports Player