Bad News For Golf Ratings: Tiger Woods Isn’t Coming Back Yet

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Though in his statement this morning Tiger Woods didn’t preclude a return to golf this year, he also didn’t announce any specific plans to return.  That spells bad news for the tournaments and the ratings.  Ratings are typically 50% worse when Tiger isn’t participating.

Before today I’d fully expected that Tiger would be playing by this year’s Masters (including one tune-up tournament prior to it).  That’s still not off the table, but doesn’t seem nearly as certain to me as it did before.  The Masters may be a “Tradition Unlike Any Other,” but when it comes to ratings, Woods is a golfer unlike any other.  A big problem for the PGA in general, an even bigger problem if  Woods isn’t playing.

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
BRITISH OPEN-SAT ABC 3,040,000 3,278,000 7.8%
BRITISH OPEN-SUN ABC 5,147,000 4,463,000 -13.3%
AT&T NATIONAL-SAT CBS 2,630,000 1,442,000 -45.2%
AT&T NATIONAL-SUN CBS 3,615,000 2,164,000 -40.1%
NEC WORLD SERIES GOLF-SAT CBS 3,250,000 1,793,000 -44.8%
NEC WORLD SERIES GOLF-SUN CBS **4,541,000 3,018,000 -33.5%
PGA CHAMPIONSHIPS-SAT CBS 5,947,000 ^^1,298,000 -78.2%
PGA CHAMPIONSHIPS-SUN CBS **9,165,000 3,885,000 -57.6%
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%
TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP-SAT NBC 3,573,000 1,372,000 -61.6%
TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP-SUN NBC **4,231,000 2,183,000 -48.4%
TOTAL 4,567, 000 2,430,000 -46.8%
source: The Nielsen Company 2009** – tournament won by Tiger Woods

^^ – play suspended by inclement weather

More via Nielsen wire.

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