Wednesday Thoughts (Economy Edition)

Okay, I’m too uninspired to write this morning, so I’ll call this reply to a comment the entire thing.  It’s a continuation of the discussion about television ratings and Tiger Woods:

Q:  Lanny – it’s not about the actual number of households, but the relative increase when Woods is in contention. That’s the point that you are either unwilling or unable to see. We all agree – in total numbers, these do not compare at all to any of the Big Three Sports. As stated before – those are the facts – It’s not about anyone’s opinion. I would hazard a guess that you even get more hits and comments on this website when Woods is in contention (which is incredibly rare).

A:  To your final point, yes and no. The Woods traffic I get isn’t really tied to his play. There is some increase, yes, but I get a huge bump when Woods and steroids comes up. Google Search has us as one of the top returns (because others refuse to write about it) on that topic.

Also, my website traffic has grown inversely to Woods’s results over the past few years.

My points about the Woods bump in ratings: (1) I never said Woods didn’t increase TV ratings. There are certain people who don’t even care about golf; they watch Tiger Woods The Reality Show. (2) By catering to the Tiger Woods Reality Show crowd, Golf Channel is throwing away growth. They are AOL clinging to dial-up. (3) Golf Channel’s All Tiger All The Time coverage brings in horrible numbers. It’s a dilapidated house, and it’s time to raze it and build a new one. (4) Some people have an emotional attachment to the old house and will oppose any change. (5) Some people also ignore certain facts that don’t fit their Tiger Woods sui generis never-before-seen narrative: (a) Regular season events in the 1970’s drew ratings far better than ratings during the Woods era. One regular season event in 1975 outdrew all but two MAJORS Woods played in. (b) The Wyndham got higher ratings pre-1997 than it got when Woods played a week or two ago.

If Morning Drive had a format which allowed irreverent discussion of Woods — mentions of Galea, Biogenesis, his horrible on-course behavior, the hypocrisy — their ratings would go up tenfold.  But they have a hands-off approach that is not seen in any other sports journalism.  People bashing and defending Tom Brady has been the biggest subject in sports the past six months.

Think about that: Tom Brady supposedly had a football underinflated, giving him an advantage. People are calling for the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory to be forfeited. But the Rock Ishii ball Woods used in 2000 can’t even be discussed in “polite society” of the Tigerstream golf media.

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15 Responses to Wednesday Thoughts (Economy Edition)

  1. Sports-realist. says:

    ……The LACK of press coverage on the STEROIDS on Tiger Woods is mind boggling…..When you consider Tom Brady is the face of the NFL, they aren’t afraid to go after him, but some PGA golfer, which isn’t even CLOSE to as big as the NFL, they won’t touch with a 10 foot pole????
    ……If you could go back and find all the stories on STEROIDS and POTENTIAL users, you would find THOUSANDS of articles…….When it comes to Woods, we KNOW, there is a YOU DO THIS AND YOU WILL FIRED memo……..Just look how they recently handled that PGA pro…..Again the golf channel didn’t TOUCH it until AFTER the Olsen guy retracted his statements(probably with either much $$$ or threats of some kind)…….

  2. Anonymous says:

    I guess your reference of pre-1997 or 1970s ratings for that matter will just blatantly ignore that in the 70s – tv watchers had about 15 channels to choose from as opposed to thousands today – not to mention the on-line streaming available today as well?? Even pre 1997 – the channel and cable selection was tiny in comparison to today (with no on-line availability). Many on this site agree with you that Tiger is finished as a competitor (me being very much one of them), but I just can’t agree with you that there is a correlation between his name in a tournament (either doing very well or very badly) and an increase in viewership and interest by the general public.

  3. Anonymous says:

    ok – but what does that have to do with you comment? You were trying build a case that ratings TV Ratings were higher in the 70s and I just added that they are an unfair comparison because of the lack of choices in channels then. I don’t recall mentioning anything about live sports?? But speaking of live sports attendance – on a micro level – I do recall just 2 weeks ago hearing about an increase of about 50,000 tickets being purchased at Windham because a certain has been was in contention. Maybe it was all due to Davis Love III though? Is that what you’d have us believe Lanny??

    • lannyh says:

      Live sports ratings are unaffected by the other trends. NFL ratings are in line with historical numbers.

      “If the $70 billion television industry is on the verge of imploding, as viewer attention flees to DVR’d shows and Netflix accounts, live sports is the keystone keeping the roof from collapsing. And live is the key word. The bulging of the bundle and the rise of on-demand video have thinned out ratings and partially severed the tendon between live-viewing and lucrative advertising. But in a time-delayed video world, the biggest games still drive dependable live audiences, making sports rights the most valuable resource in the whole TV ecosystem.” — The Atlantic, July 2013

      • Bird says:

        Re golf coverage, I don’t think “live” is as key as it once was, ‘cept for The Masters, when many folk are excited about it being the first major of the year, and there’s three feet or more of snow in half of their driveways.
        Come better weather, people have things to do and people and places to see. Live golf takes a backseat for many, including me. PVR it is. Does it bother me or others, if they hear of the results before zipping through commercials? Not so much these days. Replay is a big part of sporting life.

      • lannyh says:

        Well, that’s certainly a different story than broadcasters and those buying the advertising tell us… Go read that Atlantic article. Or google and find your own. The continuing appeal of LIVE sports been one of the biggest topics of the past decade.

    • lannyh says:

      Look. Be honest with yourself. You soooooooooo want the cling to the Tiger Woods “he is like nothing before” narrative. I don’t know why. But you seem very emotionally-attached to that narrative.

      Are you trying to convince me to believe that? Or are you trying to convince yourself?

      There are scores of less-than-flattering things about Woods which some people just can’t accept. There are dozens of highly-suspicious things about Woods as well.

      Here’s a list: His “dominant” period was when he used a special golf ball no one else had; Galea; Biogenesis; on-course demeanor; the entire sick sex scandal; the hypocrisy of his entire public image. The list goes on and on and on.

      You want to return to the the year 2001 when everyone in America pulled for Tiger Woods like he was the U.S. Olympics women’s gymnastic team. Those days are gone, and they are never coming back. You need to accept that.

      Instead you cling to the desperate narratives the tigerstream golf media feeds you. 50,000 more ticket because Woods is playing! Yay, yah! So, if Jordan Spieth had announced at the last minute he was playing, and not Woods, ticket sales would not have gone up?

      It’s 20-freaking-15. Woods hasn’t won a major in 7-1/2 years; five or six guys have won multiple majors since Woods last won one. Spieth won two by age 21. If Tiger Woods is still the center of your golf universe, you need to ask yourself why.

      • Bird says:

        Woods is a scumbag, everyone agrees?. These days, the reason most watch is for the bad boy image.Freak show. I can’t see there’s more than 10 percent of hardcore (pardon the pun) Tiger fans who think or fantasize that he’s got five more major wins in him.

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