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Tiger's indiscretions put networks in a hole


Tiger Woods isn't the only who is going to take a financial hit for his indiscretions. Odds are the broadcast and cable networks that count on him for big ratings will also feel his pain, at least in the near term.

Woods, who last week said he was taking a break from golf after revelations about what he likes to do when he's not on the back nine became public, is to golf what Michael Jordan was to basketball: a player who is bigger than the game. Though hard-core golf fans won't turn away just because Tiger isn't playing, the casual fan might. That means smaller audiences, which means less advertising dollars.

Most hurt by Woods' hiatus to heal will be CBS, which carries the Masters, as well as the PGA Championship. NBC also will be stung because it has the U.S. Open. ESPN carries the British Open, which is the least popular of the so-called four major tournaments. Time Warner's TNT carries some PGA golf and, of course, Comcast's the Golf Channel has 150 tournaments it covers.

Although Woods has done a lot of damage to his image and his marriage, the damage to TV may be short-lived. Odds are he'll be back before too long -- and remember, Woods only plays in about 14 or 15 of the roughly 50 PGA events a year. He also plays in the Masters and the U.S. Open. In other words, there is already a lot of golf on TV that does not feature Woods.

Though rights fees for football and baseball are common knowledge in the industry, golf rights are kept very close to the vest. CBS's deal for the Masters is renewed annually, and for the network it is primarily a prestige event. The British Open costs ESPN about $25 million a year, according to Sports Business Journal. CBS and NBC's PGA deals don't expire until 2012, so it's way too soon to speculate on whether their value will drop when it's time to renegotiate.

Pali Research analyst Rich Greenfield said Woods' personal woes mean a drop in value for Comcast's Golf Channel. We're not so sure. Although Golf Channel doesn't exactly scream this from the hills, most of the events it carries are smaller and Woods is not a regular presence on the network.

"We have a core audience that comes to watch golf no matter who is playing," said Golf Channel spokesman Dan Higgins. "Tiger didn't play a full schedule in 2008 or 2009, so we've gone through this before."

For all the talk about what Woods' break will mean to golf ratings, think about how huge the number will be when he comes back. And if the numbers are big, we have a hunch some of those sponsors so concerned about their image being hurt by being affiliated with Woods, will also return.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Tiger Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren in happier times. Credit: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.

Comments () | Archives (20)

Tiger is to the golf industry what Bernie Maddof was to his investors (the golf industry are just investors as well). They both should have known better, but both acted in their own self interest without concern for, and at financial risk to others.

Lack of proofreading leaves story with goofy headline

(Try "indiscretions put")

boycott tiger at all costs

boycott his sponsors as well, and buy from Phil's sponsors

The sponsors bailing on Tiger aren't taking the right perspective on this. There are tons of sponsors that are just waiting to sign him. When this scandal blows away with something juicier, they will be poised to pounce. You'll notice that Nike is being very silent. That's because Tiger is their only link to the golfing public. Without Tiger, Nike couldn't givaway a set of clubs.

so-called majors? why "so-called"?

It's a good thing the Tiger Woods had money and golf to keep him occuped or this could have been a lot worse. He apparently has such a huge hunger for sex that a lot of innocence young women lives could have been effected by this preditor. If he couldn't pay for what he wanted I'm sure he would been looking for it wherever he could find it. This is a preditor not an adulteress.

Tiger Woods is either going to turn into the nation's most newly faithful husband or he is going to discover that a man can earn a billion dollars and get to keep only half of it, while reducing his ability to earn as much in the future ever.

If he can't control his sexual urges he should take something to reduce his hormone production or have surgery to achieve the same result. His problems sound less and less like his having fun than having an addiction he can't break. He has money, a beautiful wife, even his own apparent height and children who love him just because he is called daddy. If not he will just go from one wife or scandal to another and get gradually less rich with each episode. Eventually, he wouldn't stay good enough at golf to make up the losses.

I have been married for over 30 years and I don't see why that isn't true of everyone. All it takes is for the husband to treat his wife with as much respect as during courtship and for the wife to realize the man she accepted as her husband was "as is" merchandise not designed to be remade after marriage. The possible changes are limited to tinkering around the edges, like the racing stripes you might add to a car.

Remember Kobe, those advertisers stay away from him, but in the end they go back with him. It boils down to one thing, it's the green thing, moola.Nobody is perfect in this whole wide world, and everyone would commit mistake the only good is you need to learn from your own mistake and never do it again. Tiger will be back he is still young and golf is in his blood since he was a young boy from Cypress, California. Like Gen, D. Mcarthur said in the Philippines during the 2nd world war, I'll be back.

Who under 60 watches golf? I guess people who like golf will continue to watch it, but this is not football or basketball, this is a niche market.

Talk about trying to stretch a topic into another story ... don't have anything else to report, huh? This is such a non-issue for the sports enthusiast who does NOT live for the tabloids ... yep, he's human. Yep, he's d*** good at golf. Yep, they will still pay him because he will always be a draw for anyone. Talk about some news is always good news. Advertisers would be MORE scared that no one cared at all, rather than worry about too much attention. Phil - you get on those boycotts right away - we'll meet you on the links later. ROTFLMBO!

Tiger WAS the golf industry, as in past tense. He will lose most or all of his golf industry sponsors, because it will difficult to take him seriously in the future. He will have to play for purses-only for years to come.

To the guy Hiatus,
Who the hell cars about Tiger sex drive only the moral far rt fools like you.
I coud care less about how any woman he had sex with. he is A golfer, shrt &
sweet. fools like you fuel tis dumb ass fire of gossip!!!!

Golf was just fine before Tiger and will be just fine after. And if the "casual" fan leaves, good riddance.

Nicely said, RUG. And Phil - you gotta be kidding me. People work with Accenture because of the quality of services they provide. Not because they have some athlete in their ads. I am female, under 60 (just so you know, JAM), watch golf, and am a great fan of Tiger's, but I wouldn't buy services from Accenture no matter who they put in their ads and it has absolutely nothing to do with Tiger. Accenture's Quality is just not there as a company. Same with Nike. People don't guy Nike products because of Tiger's face on their ads. Again, great fan of Tiger's, but wouldn't touch a Nike product if you gave it to me even before the Tiger scandal. These companies make their money off Tiger winning golf tournaments - plain and simple - and not by who buys their product because his face is showing. Obviously you never took Economics or Marketing in University.

Bottom line is....this story has gone stale and no matter how many more ladies come out to get their 15 minutes of fame and no matter how many sponsors distance themselves from Tiger, he is still the greatest athlete around and will hopefully grace us with his golfing excellence again soon.

Maybe we can now talk about how Ingram won the Heisman instead of McCoy. That story is just about as interesting as this one.

The same media who can't keep away from Tiger's sex life in order to bring him down, is the same media who will end up loosing if Tiger stays away from golf. I am tired of this non story and won't be watching golf again till Tiger comes back. I don't care about Phil one bit. Who says Phil or all the other golfers don't have their own short-commings?

Tiger's carefully crafted image that was sold to all of the sponsors to be used in their advertising was of the "All-American" family man who had amazing success in a predominately white sport as a non-white athlete. Their advertising campaigns were aimed at the markets that would be attracted to that image. His dishonesty to his wife, family, sponsors, caddy and even the PGA will hurt them all financially as well as in other ways for a long time.

The biggest attraction now will be to see if he can play amazing golf with the distractions that will be thrown at him in every tournament. He thought that a camera clicking in the middle of his swing was distracting - just wait. I doubt if they will want to stop serving alcohol to the spectators at the tournaments.

Those who are incensed by his [Tiger's] behavior are probably those who act as if they have never done something improper during the course of their own lives. How sad tht all of those women have come forth to get their "15 minutes of shame". How does his lifestyle affect mine?? It doesn't at all. I don't care what products have a celeb's name connected to it; those sponsors go after the people because it means more money for them. Should Tiger care what everyone thinks or says? No, it should matter only to his family and maybe his caddie. Other people will cheat and the world will still spin. Other athletes will cheat and the sport will still have fans. The media is akin to the devil: the more the bad news, the more they hope that people will read and watch their stuff= $$$$. Tiger doesn't owe me or mine a thing. HE has worked hard to become one of the best in his sport [I only started watching golf on tv because of him and I haven't watched one tournament since he stopped playing. And, I don't even play.]
I offer my prayers to he and his family that they can have the time & privacy to
heal. For all of the pleasure that he has given to the sports fan and the good that he has done with his foundations, people should give him that.

"For those of you that are not guilty of sin be the first to cast the stone". Everyone before you crucify the guy please remember that we all have in our lives have made that trip to the valley of darkness or funked up big time. He is a grown ass man that made his decision to do what he did and now he is facing the consenquences. How severe will that be? Only time will tell but it's great to know that people can voice their opinions so quickly and be so accessible on the internet. Note that someone like Tiger that even has a yatch named PRIVACY, cannot have too much privacy. The new era of TMZ journalism, camera phones, and the ease to spread it around the world in merely seconds is going to make invincibles/untouchables, like Tiger think twice about their actions,and of course for fear of exposure. Move on bloggers and may the force of the LAKERS be with you all!!!


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