Of course the ratings will suffer! But in the wake of Friday's early morning events, those ratings losses will likely be offset in a myriad of other ways.
Not having Tiger Woods around historically has been extremely bad for ratings. Now Woods has announced that he would not be playing in the 2009 Chevron World Challenge -- a tournament that he hosts, and that contributes significant funding to Woods' charitable efforts via The Tiger Woods Foundation, due to injuries sustained in Friday's early AM car accident.
There will be no press conference for Woods to be grilled at, and surely worse TV ratings for the tournament as a result. Additionally the statement on Woods' site about him not playing at Chevron also notes he will not play in any other tournaments for the remainder of 2009.
But Chevron's loss, might well be ESPN's, CNN's, TMZ's, and scores of TV/radio show and web sites' gain as major celebrity + hint of scandal + mystery = huge consumption. Sadly for us