Today's Podcast: Golf Channel's Molly Solomon Talks Tiger's Impact
Golf Channel Exec Producer Molly Solomon joined the SBJ/SBD Media Podcast and talked to John Ourand about how Tiger Woods’ presence on the leaderboard affects coverage. In the podcast, Solomon discusses:
* How often NBC shows Woods -- “The numbers tell us what people want to see. If he had just made the cut, no, you’re not going to show every shot. But are you going to keep the audience apprised of how he stands? Yeah, because there is interest and the ratings tell us that. The decisions were really easy this weekend.”
* Whether golf needs Woods to be competitive -- “We still have Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm and DJ (Dustin Johnson) contending. Throw a resurgent Phil Mickelson and Tiger into the mix, it feels like what could be a golden year.”
* If she misses producing other sports -- “The great part of moving to Golf Channel is that it was within the company. For example, Sam Flood asked me to come up and work on the pregame show for the Super Bowl this year because so many folks had gone to Pyeongchang early and he needed some help.”
STILL THE MAN EVERYBODY WATCHES: NBC earned a 5.1 overnight rating for Sunday's final round of the Valspar Championship, which saw Woods finish just one shot behind winner Paul Casey. It marked the highest rating for a regular-season PGA Tour round since the final day of the '13 Players Championship. ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser noted the high ratings reaffirm that Woods "moves the needle." ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "There’s only been three or four people like this in the history of television, which means modern sport” (“PTI,” ESPN, 3/12). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard noted golf mattered on Sunday the “way it only can when Tiger Woods matters” ("Highly Questionable," ESPN, 3/12). CNBC’s Michele Caruso-Cabrera noted Woods is "completely crucial" to increasing ratings for an event. Caruso-Cabrera: "Even if you’re another player who’s jealous of Tiger Woods, you want him in the game because more people watch him, more people see you” (“Power Lunch,” CNBC, 3/12). FS1's Colin Cowherd noted Woods' initial run through the PGA Tour was the "greatest thing we've ever seen" and he wondered if Woods' comeback will "move the ratings more." Cowherd: "He's an underdog. His story now is Cinderella meets Goliath. When Jack Nicklaus got to be like 45, he won one event. I can remember it being the biggest thing in golf. Will this Tiger actually be more popular?” ("Speak For Yourself," FS1, 3/12).
ALL EYES ON ME: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell cited Apex Marketing Group research in noting that Woods following the Valspar Championship "received 4 1/2 times the amount of media coverage from Thursday through Monday morning than any of the winners of the four previous" PGA Tour events. Woods got 12% more exposure "than the four previous winning golfers combined" -- Mickelson, Thomas, Bubba Watson and Ted Potter Jr. -- and "three times more exposure" than Casey (ESPN.com, 3/12).