A Decline of Tiger Woods Will Hurt The Game
The decline of Tiger Woods is an inevitability. After all, you can’t fool mother nature. Especially not with a surgically repaired back. The tour knows this for certain. They are acutely interested in just how much the decline of Tiger Woods will hurt the PGA Tour.
Whats in Tiger Woods Golf Bag? Find out here
By the way, Tiger is 43 years old. Playing less events. His focus is on the four majors, hoping to catch and surpass Jack. At worst win at least 3 more times, jump Snead and be the all-time leader.
What does that mean for interest in the lesser events and for the TV dollars that fund the purses? Television viewership is a prime mover of interest in the game. And the rating numbers networks covet.
One thing we know for certain. Tiger not only pushes the needle in golf. He is the needle. If he is in the field crowd sizes spike. If, even better, he is in contention on Sunday afternoon TV ratings can hit historic highs. He instantly helps the PGA Tour.
All that translates into advertising dollars for the networks. A rating point is a rating point after all. CBS and NBC have considered a less than Tiger-centric tour landscape and what that might mean for their bottom line and thus their interest in televising the tour. Remember, the huge purses of today are the result of Tigers explosion on the scene over 20 years ago. Network execs tied on to Tiger’s coattails and TV dollars generated that purse explosion
Let’s assume that TV revenue might drop by 25% without Tiger, and assume the players share of purse money is 33% of total revenue earned by the PGA, and further assume the annual revenue is $1 billion. The net effect of no Tiger is about $80 million in purse money. Assume 30 PGA tour tournaments and that’s about $2.5 million less purse money per tournament. But what if a major network totally drops its coverage? Think of the effect on the tour then. It’s safe to assume a seismic hit on purses and tour vitality.
Nothing can be taken for granted. Still, barring the appearance on the golf scene of a new force with the same charisma, similar shot making ability, and finally, the gut-wrenching lust for competing and winning that Tiger has brilliantly delivered week after week, the tour will most certainly be hurt.