Tiger Woods Remains a Box Office TV Draw
There are those out there who question the continued impact of Tiger Woods on the world of golf. They say that he has had his day, is irrelevant and has been usurped by the likes of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
We are here to tell you that Woods remains the biggest draw in golf – and will remain so for as long as he remains fit and competitive. There was a massive buzz about his return to action ahead of the Hero World Challenge, and it was reflected in the numbers of people who tuned in to see if he really find anything like his best form. Believe it or believe it not, more people watched the Hero World Challenge on NBC and the Golf Channel than watched any other tournament on the PGA Tour in 2017.
Ratings during the first two rounds were way higher than normal as news of Tiger’s brilliant start to the event began to spread on social media. The Golf Channel reported that viewing figures for the Hero Challenge were a staggering 29% higher than for the same event 12 months ago, when Woods was also in the field. With 22.4 million total minutes streamed (an increase of, wait for it, 201% on 2016) it was second only to The Open among golf tournaments shown on NBC in 2017.
The difference is that this time there had been a lot of optimism ahead of the event relating to Woods’ form and fitness and, by and large, he managed to live up to it. He is now in the process of drawing up his playing schedule for 2018, and you can be sure that the organisers of every tournament in which he plays will be rubbing their hands together with glee. And just imagine what will happen to the viewing figures should he find a way to win.
When it comes to superstar quality, the only man who comes close is Rory McIlroy, and his ranking slipped during a year that was blighted by injury.
So, for the time being at least, golf definitely needs Tiger more than he needs golf, and we should all keep our fingers crossed that one day soon Woods and McIlroy will find themselves going blow for blow in the final round somewhere in the world. If it happens, be certain that the viewing figures will smash all records.
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