SBD/March 11, 2011/Media

PGA Tour Ratings Up 36% From Last Season With Young Stars, TV-Friendly Pairings

PGA Tour ratings up thanks in part to pairings such as Woods-Mickelson
PGA Tour Exec VP/Communications & Int'l Affairs Ty Votaw said that the Tour's average TV ratings are up 36% over last season and 19% from '09, according to Michael McCarthy of USA TODAY. Golf is "benefiting from viewer interest in young stars such as Rickie Fowler," and it also is "creating more TV-friendly player pairings" such as the group of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell in the first two rounds of this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. Research indicates that viewers are "watching 29% longer." Votaw: "Every single day of every single tournament of every single week is up over the last year, and Tiger's not been a factor in any of those tournaments." Votaw said that there is "no doubt a prowling Tiger spikes ratings," but McCarthy notes TV numbers are "up whether he's in the field or playing well" (USA TODAY, 3/11). Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee said of the Woods-Mickelson-McDowell group, "I think what happened in the NFL last year got a lot of people's attention because everybody was saying that all of television entertainment enterprises are going to get watered-down and here comes the NFL with a huge spike last year in ratings. ... The PGA Tour, perhaps moved by that, acquiesced to the demands that everybody's been making for years and years and years: 'Give us the best players on Thursday and Fridays'" ("Golf Central Pregame," Golf Channel, 3/10).
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