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PGA Tour TV Ratings Show Sick Patient


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I consume golf on YouTube these days because I can watch a match in 24 minutes or an hour. I rarely dedicate more time than that for anything. 
 

exceptions are when someone compelling is in contention, I watched both Saturday and Sunday of the puntacana because of Wesley Bryan. 
 

I’m of the belief the biggest challenge for the pga tour is there just isn’t anyone that’s transcendent on tour right now. Scottie might become that guy if he keeps winning but by and large he’s just so bland that people aren’t latching on yet. 
 

I don’t think LIV has anything to do with it or at least i know Liv has no impact on my or anyone i knows viewing. 

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Solutions…

 

1. Select ~12 players per event (more in certain tournaments) plus surprise leaders and post “every shot from player X in round Y” videos on YouTube. Allows someone to follow their favorite player in 10-15 minutes per day and see them throughout the course. No need to spend 4-5 hours to see 60% of shots - if lucky and leading. I think these videos would kill and could collectively match current viewership per tournament. 
 

2. Allow players to vlog rounds and produce content. Could also hire staff to follow players in a different way if needed. Then edit down and post weekly. Not everyone is a creator or wants to have an audience, but if the tour wants to build stars and personalities, it’s a proven way (not just in golf) but all industries and sports to do that. Would be much more compelling for stories vs the main broadcast aside from the winner. Would also last much longer than main feed broadcasts too. (Don’t know anyone actively rewatching broadcasts aside from mindlessly having golf channel replays on in the background). 
 

We can watch NFL games in 17 minutes, NBA/NHL condensed in 12–15, have endless highlight options and individual reels in other sports. Watching golf for 4-5 hours a weekend is not only hard, but it’s brutally frustrating if and when 8/10 shots you see are force fed for guys you may not want to watch. 

Edited by adamc92
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4 minutes ago, adamc92 said:

Solutions…

 

1. Select ~12 players per event (more in certain tournaments) plus surprise leaders and post “every shot from player X in round Y” videos on YouTube. Allows someone to follow their favorite player in 10-15 minutes per day and see them throughout the course. No need to spend 4-5 hours to see 60% of shots - if lucky and leading. I think these videos would kill and could collectively match current viewership per tournament. 
 

2. Allow players to vlog rounds and produce content. Could also hire staff to follow players in a different way if needed. Then edit down and post weekly. Not everyone is a creator or wants to have an audience, but if the tour wants to build stars and personalities, it’s a proven way (not just in golf) but all industries and sports to do that. Would be much more compelling for stories vs the main broadcast aside from the winner. Would also last much longer than main feed broadcasts too. (Don’t know anyone actively rewatching broadcasts aside from mindlessly having golf channel replays on in the background). 
 

We can watch NFL games in 17 minutes, NBA/NHL condensed in 12–15, have endless highlight options and individual reels in other sports. Watching golf for 4-5 hours a weekend is not only hard, but it’s brutally frustrating if and when 8/10 shots you see are force fed for guys you may not want to watch. 

 

100% agree with this.  Some people/organizations have done this for classic rounds like Tiger's 1997 Masters round, Phil's 2004 Masters final round, Greg Norman's 1993 Open Championship, etc.  It's fun to watch that and I'd definitely tune in to see something like that each day.

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8 minutes ago, StoutKing said:

It's all the talk about money and bickering between tours and rich guys.  I used to watch the NBA, NFL and MLB and no longer do.  Golf was my escape but it's harder and harder to stay interested due to these factors.  Nothing will pull me away from the majors however.


I think this is an excuse that most people say that sounds good to avoid saying or admitting that most tournaments now just don’t really matter to viewers and aren’t that compelling to watch for 4-5-6 hours a Saturday/Sunday. 

Edited by adamc92
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1 minute ago, adamc92 said:


I think this is an excuse that most people say that sounds good to avoid saying or admitting that most tournaments now just don’t really matter and aren’t that compelling to watch for 4-5-6 hours a Saturday/Sunday. 

 

I'd agree with this too and it's why I despise the signature events model of the TOUR.  You are sending a signal that the other tournaments are filler on the schedule and just don't matter all that much.  I admit that even in the early 2000s this was the case for non-WGC events and majors but still, those were 8 tournaments on the calendar.  Now you have the majors + signature events + playoff events.  So outside of that, why does anything truly matter?

 

I've hated the playoffs for a really long time and even though I know this won't happen, I wish we'd get back to a system where you play to get to the top 30 on the money list and play for the TOUR Championship at the end of the season in the fall.  The season had a rhythm to it and there wasn't this rush to get everything in before the NFL started as I feel like the July-September time is just so compact now its nuts.

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I have a hard time buying the “money has changed how I and viewers think about the sport” when it’s with the caveat of “but I’ll still watch the majors!”

 

If it’s about money, why are the tournaments with the biggest purses ok to watch? 
 

It’s an excuse to avoid saying, “I’m just not that interested or compelled by golf coverage because it kind of sucks to watch now a days compared to anything else and what it used to be.” 

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11 minutes ago, NormanFan said:

 

I'd agree with this too and it's why I despise the signature events model of the TOUR.  You are sending a signal that the other tournaments are filler on the schedule and just don't matter all that much.  I admit that even in the early 2000s this was the case for non-WGC events and majors but still, those were 8 tournaments on the calendar.  Now you have the majors + signature events + playoff events.  So outside of that, why does anything truly matter?

 

I've hated the playoffs for a really long time and even though I know this won't happen, I wish we'd get back to a system where you play to get to the top 30 on the money list and play for the TOUR Championship at the end of the season in the fall.  The season had a rhythm to it and there wasn't this rush to get everything in before the NFL started as I feel like the July-September time is just so compact now its nuts.


Wrap around schedule is a killer. Great point. Even now I think many a long time golf fan consider the Sentry the beginning of the season?

 

I agree on the money list too. That was at least something that could be easily understood and followed. The points system now is much harder to keep up with. 
 

If there is ever a future with a world tour that is played globally and follows a more rigid annual schedule I could see intrigue spike for new courses and familiarity of events at the same time of year in the same way other sports have. 

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On 4/22/2024 at 10:08 PM, st1800e said:

Where are the viewer numbers for streaming services etc. other than TV?  

This is my question as well.

 

LIV vs PGAT has hurt viewership because there are less name brand guys out there, sure... but I don't buy that its because people are sick of how much money the guys make.  Every sport has rich players trying to make more money.

 

NBA ratings are also down...

 

However revenues are up... because the NBA is diversifying heavily into other markets and revenue streams, and working hard to get younger viewers, etc.  I hate to say it, but that's one of LIV's big arguments.  

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19 minutes ago, st1800e said:

Where are the viewer numbers for streaming services etc. other than TV?  

8 million watching on Caffeine tv 🤣

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I live in Australia and my sports package includes every tournament from the PGAT, DPWT, Asian Tour, LPGA, Champions Tour and LET plus random tournaments from around the world 

 

No doubt that my tuning into the RBC made up part of the viewership data but it was literally for about 2 minutes on one day while I channel surfed with my morning ️ 

 

It’s not that I don’t like golf but I had watched a lot of the Masters the week before and a couple of hours of the Asian Tour the previous night and simply felt like watching something else 

 

Less is sometimes more and the PGAT has forgotten that with their never ending schedule plus the broadcast quality is out of the dark ages 

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Here in the UK, I watch all sports via subscriptions. Unfortunately the overt commercialisation of sport has compromised my enjoyment. I still watch, however find myself caring less as the money swilling around increases. This is true of football (Premier League and Champions League in Europe) and is now infiltrating golf. Even athletes in the Olympics will receive prize money this summer. Watching identikit pro golfers compete for squillions of pounds (UK£) is not as compelling as the PGA Tour and TV execs think it is. In my house sport is now wallpaper to other activities rather than sitting down and actively watching. If it's a tight finish the last 9 holes may grab my attention and as much as I admire Scheffler as a golfer, seeing him steamroller fields does little to pique my interest. To be fair, the same could be said for the majority of golfers save McIlroy and very few others. Bland commentary and insights do little to enhance the experience either.

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What if a large chunk of those previous viewers were fed up of paying so much for their subscription costs and decided to watch the sports via a device that wouldn't log the viewership numbers 😉 

 

I would never do that of course.

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