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.