Golf Channel Leaps on Tiger’s Return

Feb 20, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The Golf Channel sprang into action when Tiger Woods announced on Thursday he would return to competitive play next week in a tournament that the network will carry live in early rounds.
Golf Channel broke away from its live coverage of the Northern Trust Open for a “Golf Central” special update on Mr. Woods’ announcement that he will play in the World Golf Championships in Tucson. The network quickly began airing promos and commercials touting the return.
Golf Channel, which will have live coverage of the event Wednesday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET, will be the first to show Mr. Woods in action since he played on a badly injured knee while winning the U.S. Open last June. (The channel will re-air its coverage in prime time those days.) NBC carries the rest of the World Golf Championship over the weekend.
Mr. Woods’ absence has hurt TV ratings for tournaments on the broadcast networks. Golf Channel said it experienced less of a slide for events Mr. Woods had to cancel on because the network’s core audience continued to tune in. Overall, the network’s ratings were basically flat during the fourth quarter compared to the prior year.
That doesn’t mean Golf Channel isn’t excited about the return of the game’s most popular player.
After Mr. Woods made his announcement, GolfChannel.com posted a story on the return, with blog entries from Golf Channel’s staff of writers.
The network quickly began airing on-air promos, including in-show promo boards during the Northern Trust Open coverage, and had lower-third graphics featuring Tiger on screen.
Six “Tiger Woods Returns” commercials began airing at 5:20 p.m. Thursday evening, and continue to run.
The network expanded its “Golf Central” show to an hour on Thursday. Sunday’s 6 p.m. edition of “Golf Central” will expand to 90 minutes. Updates will air during the network’s prime-time coverage of the Champions tour on Sunday.
Golf Channel plans to cover Tiger Woods’ press conference live on either Monday or Tuesday, and will re-air it following “Golf Central” at 6:30. p.m.
A 30-minute special will air at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday and a 60 minute pre-game show will appear at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
(Editor: Baumann)

30 Comments

  1. Tiger is the best golfer of our time and his attempt to prove himself to be the greatest of all time is both admirable and doable. My question is this. Why must the media trip over each other to kiss his butt even when he’s five strokes off the pace? Some poor sap who’s in second place coming down the stretch doesn’t get the air time afforded to a Tiger who possibly, just possibly might make a late charge for the winner’s circle. The truth is that when Tiger is anywhere near the lead I turn the television off because I know that I’m not going to see anyone else in the tournament.
    These media personalities ought to be embarrassed
    for all the fawning they do over Tiger. I can’t see how an intelligent person wouldn’t be.

  2. I agree with Bob. no one admires Tiger and his skill more than I, and I enjoy watching him take over a tournament, but the coverage can be over the top. Several years ago my local paper, the Toledo Blade, ran a Monday story about the weekend tournament. I don’t recall the winner that day, but the only picture to accompany the story was a picture of Woods with the caption “finished five strokes back.” Gimme a break! Give him the coverage when he earns it, but give others their due, as well.

  3. I agree that Tiger is the best golfer in the world right now. I also agree the other golfers should receive the airtime they deserve.
    The Golf Channel should be ashamed. Their commericals make it sound like his return is comparable to the 2nd coming of Christ!

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