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SBD/Issue 244/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Deutsche Bank CEO Seth Waugh Criticizes PGA Tour's Rising Purses
Published September 9, 2009
|Waugh (c) Says There's Pressure On PGA Tour
To Reduce The Purses It Demands Of Sponsors
NO THOUGHTS OF REDUCING BMW PURSE: BMW North America President Jim O'Donnell appeared on CNBC this morning from Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Illinois, in advance of tomorrow's start of the PGA Tour BMW Championship. The purse for the event is $7.5M, and CNBC's Phil LeBeau said there has been a “fair amount of talk about the purses becoming too extravagant, especially in a down economy.” LeBeau: “Have you ever thought to yourself, 'Maybe we need to rein this in? Maybe this is not the best expenditure of our money.'" O'Donnell: "No, not really because the other side of the coin is we will generate something like $3.3(M) -- at least that's what we did last year -- for charity” ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 9/9).
IT STARTS FROM THE TOP: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin noted with the PGA Tour "struggling every time Tiger Woods skips a tournament and both the LPGA Tour and Champions Tour in serious financial straits, some wonder if limited-field formats of the top stars would work best to draw eyeballs to the tube." One source said that the idea is "gaining popularity." The "Tiger-effect" has created a "de facto two-tier tour." With TV cameras "following almost every shot by Woods, there's simply not that much time in a broadcast for other players," and when Woods and Phil Mickelson are not playing, "viewership drops." Dowbiggin: "So while they'd never say as much, TV networks would likely embrace stars-only fields" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 9/7).