A very nice analysis of Tiger Wood's effect on golf TV ratings from nielsen wire demonstrates that his presence in a tournament roughly doubles the TV ratings.
The Nielsen Company compared the network TV ratings for the 3rd and 4th rounds of golf tournaments played by Woods after the U.S. Open in 2007 with those same tournaments he missed in 2008 due to a season-ending knee injury. And the results are just what you might expect: Tiger’s absence almost singlehandedly sliced tour ratings in half.
VIEWERSHIP OF PGA TOURNAMENTS MISSED BY TIGER WOODS DUE TO INJURY IN 2008-09
|TOURNAMENT||NETWORK||# OF VIEWERS P2+, 2007-08||# OF VIEWERS P2+, 2008-09||% CHANGE|
|BUICK INV PGA GOLF-SAT||CBS||3,761,000||1,601,000||-57.4%|
|BUICK INV PGA GOLF-SUN||CBS||**6,193,000||2,868,000||-53.7%|
|DEUTSCHE GOLF CHAMP-SUN||NBC||3,658,000||1,960,000||-46.4%|
|DEUTSCHE GOLF CHAMP-MON||NBC||4,936,000||2,116,000||-57.1%|
|BMW GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP-SAT||NBC||3,113,000||1,091,000||-65.0%|
|BMW GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP-SUN||NBC||**4,358,000||1,678,000||-61.5%|
|source: The Nielsen Company 2009
** - tournament won by Tiger Woods
^^ - play suspended by inclement weather