There are several analogies that could be used to illustrate the hubris of Fox Sports’ partnership with the Saudi Pro League, and as simple as it would be to draw on the retirement tours of major football stars and the marginal effect they have had on the MLS Here in the States, Lionel Messi is on a wild tour of the league. Instead, I use films. Starpower doesn’t make a blockbuster; it simply guarantees that the result – good or not Babylon – will be remarkable.
“The football fanbase is full of gatekeepers,” says Ted Lasso actor Brendan Hunt
A quick look at the best talent that Saudi blood can buy looks powerful Consumables 3 mood, with Cristiano Ronaldo playing the role of the wily Stallone while Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and the other Liverpool defectors reach for the remaining one-liners. (It’s really brutal for LFC fans to see a group of people who played a big part in preventing Anfield’s EPL title drought tarnish that memory.)
Nobody wants to entertain this farce. A buddy cop comedy starring Fabinho and Roberto Firmino might sound good in theory, but here’s Al Pacino and Robert De Niro Just Kill if Pacino and De Niro were supporting actors.
It’s LIV golf, but with the game of the world and also in competition with it. There is a seven-hour difference between Saudi Arabia and the US east coast, putting games in roughly the same time slot as the major European leagues. Furthermore, the Saudi Pro League calendar overlaps not only with the EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1, but also with the NFL and college football.
Fox should be asking the CW how its last LIV event was rated, since Nexstar — the parent company of the golf league’s TV affiliate — just posted a $72 million loss in the second quarter. Now, Nexstar says it’s a “moneyball” content strategy that sounds a lot like what Netflix did with Nic Cage. (There’s no better indication that ACC will be the next conference to follow the Pac-12 path than a partnership with the CW, which hardly represents a step up from a streaming service.)
In May, before the merger between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund was announced, LIV Golf stopped reporting its TV ratings. With the deal still not finalized for foreseeable reasons that PGA commissioner Jay Monahan overlooked or ignored, LIV Golf is left in limbo and viewers are likely to be even more indifferent to it. And that’s only if they even manage to overcome Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
People know what sports washing is. I’m hesitant to use the word at all because it’s probably something Ron DeSantis thinks is bright, but the fact that you can say “sportswear” and people know what you’re talking about shows that the public is interested what Saudi Arabia is trying to do.
The accessibility of the Saudi Pro League and these stars is the opposite of Messi in Miami: the Argentine’s snub to the league boosted his approval rating even further, and fans wish all players would do the same. There seems to be something about obscene wealth that makes people who have it crave even more of it. Hey, almost like an addiction, so we’re the same.
Be that as it may, most of the world sees no tangible reason to support Al-Nassr or Al-Ettifaq. There are loads of better things to check out including expenditure; is slated to hit theaters next month (?!), starring 77-year-old Stallone, 50 Cent, Megan Fox and more, and is sure to be as hard pounding as the Saudi Pro League on Fox Sports.