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Significant issue I feel is effecting PGA tour TV viewership ratings


uttexas
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Originally Posted by shades9323

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Originally Posted by uttexas

Yes, the internet will eventually kill cable, just as it did Blockbuster. If you search hard enough, there are websites that stream HBO,showtime, live sports, etc. This past weekend, the UT vs Rice football game was only on the Longhorn Network (my cable company doesn't have a contract with LHN). However, I was able to find a live broadcast of the game on the internet. The ability to HDMI or VGA your computer to a large screen/projector/television enables family/group viewing. Cable/satellite TV is nearing the end.

Except for those feed are generally crappy on a laptop let alone a big screen tv.  That is assuming you are talking about justin.tv, ustream, and the like.


I'm with Shades. The quality of feeds available today are not as good as cable/satellite. If they ever are, they'll probably be pay-only and the cost will be comparable to cable/satellite. Either that, or they'll be so commercial-ridden that it will be a choice people make who are willing to sacrifice time for $ savings (unless there are DVR/Tivo options available for internet broadcasts, such that the commercials can be skipped over.)

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I think the problem, honestly, with drawing in average fans is that there is nothing to see besides really good golf swings.  As golfers, we like to watch because we understand what is going on to a certain extent, can watch for swing tips, etc... To attract "casual" fans (i.e. ones that are not addicted to golf) it can't just be 5' 10" to 6' 2" white guys hitting driver - iron - two putts down a tree lined fairway over and over and over and over.  Its the same thing again and again to a casual fan: the courses might be really interesting, etc... but they are dull.  Seriously dull.  Tree lined fairways to a green with a few bunkers and nasty rough to one side and behind with fairway in the middle.  Long par 3s over water.  One short par 5 with water to the right.  Its the same again and again and again to a casual fan.  The last 10 events have all been played on identical looking courses.  Its boring if you arn't interested in the swings or the putt breaks.  The best tournament I saw this year?  The men's amateur links championship.  It was on a really interesting course carved out of the desert and there were alot of hazards that were unique to try to hit out of.

I played a course up north that had a green on the top of a hill.  All around the bottom of the hill (360*) were rocks.  You had to hit it up in the air and make it stop on a small green.  It was tons of fun.  Why do they never have anything like that at a PGA Tour event?  One of my clients, when I asked if he watched Rory at the US Open (this client plays probably once or twice a month and is a casual golfer), said he didn't watch.  Theres nothing for the casual fan to care about.  Every week some reasonably tall, skinny white guy wins the hit it around the perfect golf course tournament.  Sorry, thats not interesting to casual fans.

The camera angles stink for casual fans.  Why are they still using white balls?  Bright red would be much, much better for TV in the air.  Switch it out for putting, we don't care.  How about a sideview like football where you see the whole hole?  usually you see a swing, the ball for about a split second until it disappears, then a shot of the fairway where the ball is with no reference point.  Show us the whole hole and we will really get a sense for just how far they are hitting.

Anyway, I think you need either interesting players or interesting courses to attract casual fans.  Right now, without tiger, we do not have the former.  And for the last three months, the courses have all been extremely dull.  Dull courses + robotic, dull players that look the same, no name recognition, no dominant player + You can't see the ball on TV = Bad Television.

Think of the NBA after Jordan.  Awful.  But people forget, the NBA became popular again because of rules changes that drastically increased offense, especially dribble penetration.  Golf needs to do the same, like it or not, or it will only get worse unless Rory turns into Tiger (i.e a reason to watch).  Nobody who watches Nascar drives a car 200 mph.  Nobody who watches football plays it.  Golf can be that - if it finds a way to be interesting.

Edit: I also wanted to mention another thing: it used to be Tiger versus Phil versus VJ etc... Tiger and Phil were unique.  They played crazy shots.  They were animated on the course.  Now we get the Snedeker versus Webb Simpson versus Adam Scott in the who can be as robotic as possible complete with long putters contest every week.  Don't believe me?  Youtube some finishes between Mickelson and Tiger from 2005-06.  Then watch the end of, say, the playoff between Luke Donald and Snedeker and the Heritage.  Night and day.

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You make some good points.  I forgot that until I tried playing golf, I hated watching it on television.  I definitely enjoy it more now that I understand it and have a better appreciation for it.  Unfortunately golf isn't that exciting for casual fans and non-players.  The networks try to keep it moving by jumping around to different holes but as you stated it turns into a series of swings.  Those who don't know the golfers have a tough time following that they just showed Luke Donald tee off, Rory's 2nd shot on a Par 4 followed by Stricker putting.  I'm not sure i buy into the red ball and crazy course setups, but if golf is going to compete for air time and advertising it needs to freshen up or maybe change the way they produce it.  I preferred the way the Masters gave people the option online to watch specific holes or follow specific groups, maybe that would make it more appealing.

Originally Posted by johnclayton1982

I think the problem, honestly, with drawing in average fans is that there is nothing to see besides really good golf swings.

Edit: I also wanted to mention another thing: it used to be Tiger versus Phil versus VJ etc... Tiger and Phil were unique.  They played crazy shots.  They were animated on the course.  Now we get the Snedeker versus Webb Simpson versus Adam Scott in the who can be as robotic as possible complete with long putters contest every week.  Don't believe me?  Youtube some finishes between Mickelson and Tiger from 2005-06.  Then watch the end of, say, the playoff between Luke Donald and Snedeker and the Heritage.  Night and day.



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this makes so much sense:

Originally Posted by johnclayton1982

Its the same thing again and again to a casual fan: the courses might be really interesting, etc... but they are dull.  Seriously dull.  Tree lined fairways to a green with a few bunkers and nasty rough to one side and behind with fairway in the middle.  Long par 3s over water.  One short par 5 with water to the right.  Its the same again and again and again to a casual fan.  The last 10 events have all been played on identical looking courses.  Its boring if you arn't interested in the swings or the putt breaks.  The best tournament I saw this year?  The men's amateur links championship.  It was on a really interesting course carved out of the desert and there were alot of hazards that were unique to try to hit out of.

what, for example, apart from the name of the tournament, distinguished the PGA championship from any other tournament stop on the tour?

it was interesting viewing on the final round because of Bradley coming back to win, but it had nothing to do with the course at all...sooooooo boring

I know the predominant type of course in the US is parkland, but surely there's some other options?

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I know the predominant type of course in the US is parkland, but surely there's some other options?

That's what they tried to do last year, play on a non-parkland course. Whistling Straits, Bandon Dunes, and Shinnecock are about as close as you are going to get in the U.S. in terms of championship linkish courses. Even those aren't that close.

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I know the predominant type of course in the US is parkland, but surely there's some other options?

All really good points above. The PGA tour does feature and abundance long,boring tree lined courses, but they are slowly doing a better job of working in some variety. Good to see Liberty National return to the schedule again in 2013. Chambers Bay US Open in 2015 should be fun to watch.

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Golf is boring. People liked Tiger Woods (and his caddie) enough to watch golf. Now the potentially interesting players are too old, too young, too fast, too slow, too boring, or heavens no . . . are using belly putters.

Seems like a bunch of guys who only fell in love with golf, because they loved watching Tiger Woods, are realizing what people who liked the sport before Tiger already knew. It's more boring than baseball (by a mile) and is best watched in limited doses.

What's the problem with Golf on Television? There's too much of it. Don't put every event on the tube and people will crave it - or they'll move on and it will be Tennis' gain. Woot!

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Golf is boring. People liked Tiger Woods (and his caddie) enough to watch golf. Now the potentially interesting players are too old, too young, too fast, too slow, too boring, or heavens no . . . are using belly putters.

Seems like a bunch of guys who only fell in love with golf, because they loved watching Tiger Woods, are realizing what people who liked the sport before Tiger already knew. It's more boring than baseball (by a mile) and is best watched in limited doses.


True. No more Sunday charges from the man in red, fist pumps, rowdy crowds etc

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I agree with the commercial situation.  I understand that it's a revenue builder but comon, it's unbearable at times when they ONLY show 3 players after each break and we don't get to see the other dozen guys contenting.  The only "other people" they show who aren't leading are the ones who do something great like hole out a sand shot, sink a 40 foot putt, etc...besides that, they only allocate time for the top 3-4 players inbetween all of the commercial breaks.

In addition to that, another issue that contributes to Viewship ratings is the players themselves, who, are VERY boring.  There are a couple like Keegan Bradley, foir example, who showed some excitement during his PGA win...but for the majority of players, they are very bland and lack that exciting factor.  It's important to say that you don't have to be a fist pumping star like Tiger woods to be "exciting."  Furthermore, the players I have seen that are coming up are all also very bland....take Patrick Cantlay for example.  A great player who played amazing during the US open and shot 60 in a PGA Tour event.  During both of those rounds, he he looked like an emotionless Zombie swinging a golf club.  Sure, to a pure golf fan, it's all about the shots, putts, par saves etc.  But to new viewership who is dabbling with their interest, they will fade away when they see how boring the personalities are.

Baseball is a boring sport to watch...but man are the players WAY more exciting than golfers.

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My golf viewing typically consists of Players, Masters, US Open, British Open, and PGA.  That is five tournaments and 20 days of golf.  I recommend watching the alternate feeds on the internet that have featured group or par three coverage since these typically include no commercials.  I especially like featured group coverage because it is more continuous and easier to follow - you see each shot the players hit and track their round.  Most of the announcers do a good job carrying a discussion (Michael Breed is very good at this).

Obviously Masters has fewer commercials and the British has the most interesting course and weather elements.  I like when the US Open plays tough and the players are seriously challenged.  The best all play the majors and you can see they care about the result.

The average golf coverage does tend to be dull.  For example, one of their conventions has always been to show a player tee off, and then cut to an upward camera angle that is tracking the ball in the air.  Why is this!?  When the whole screen is just air and a ball, we have no frame of reference to determine whether the shot is going left, right, or center - all we know is ball in the air.  Then we see it land, but don't have any idea where the ball is placed relative to the rest of the hole.  The whole tee shot seems a boring waste of time.  And then they might get some ads in or other golfers and you'll miss the second shot.

Big problem is that the best golf is played with level emotions and the best play is going to avoid the drama of hazards.  It is a hard sport to televise, and there are so many events now that the average tour stop seems to have a minor league field and winning seems trivial aside from getting the big check.

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Baseball is a boring sport to watch...but man are the players WAY more exciting than golfers.

Baseball is not boring if you're at the park eating hot dogs, drinking beer and enjoying the roar of the crowd.

It's also not boring if you know baseball because with baseball it's the anticipation of what is coming next.  Will there be a steal, double play, etc. etc.

It's the same with golf if you know the game.

So how do you bring that to the TV screen? All the shots that the pros hit look so easy.  Maybe if we watched a bunch of amateurs scuffing the ball it might be more interesting to the casual fan.

Now how about NASCAR racing?  As Larry King said.  Do racing fans just go out and say let's watch left turns today?  But if you're a racing addict you know how tough it is to last in a race and win it.

Soccer is played and watched by thousands all over the world.

To me that is the most boring sport on television.

As for watching on the computer on the internet, for some reason live events from England come in a lot sharper and clearer than from the U.S. or Canada.

And as far as NFL football is concerned, I love it.  But my friend's wife said to him one day.  Imagine watching 11 guys move the ball one foot.

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I agree, the commercials do get somewhat ridiculous....BUT...if they made it easy to DVR the series ao you could jump passed all the commercials, the sponsorship would eventually wane and the telecasts would disappear.  after all, the sponsors pay big money to get their ads on the tube so you'll see them then buy their stuff.

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Originally Posted by Fozcycle

I agree, the commercials do get somewhat ridiculous....BUT...if they made it easy to DVR the series ao you could jump passed all the commercials, the sponsorship would eventually wane and the telecasts would disappear.  after all, the sponsors pay big money to get their ads on the tube so you'll see them then buy their stuff.



Your thought is correct in theory and it must make the advertisers feel good when they spend big bucks on commercials, but let's be honest.  The overkill with commercials kills your urge to go and buy the product. It turns you off instead of on.  Now that's why the Masters telecast is so successful.  The commercials are there but don't interfere too much with the broadcast.

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Originally Posted by Fozcycle

I agree, the commercials do get somewhat ridiculous....BUT...if they made it easy to DVR the series ao you could jump passed all the commercials, the sponsorship would eventually wane and the telecasts would disappear.  after all, the sponsors pay big money to get their ads on the tube so you'll see them then buy their stuff.



I watch golf in the basement, on a tape, made using a VCR. I hit FF during the ads and if I miss a couple seconds of the broadcast, oh well, it's just golf. I haven't watched a commercial during a golf telecast in months.

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A lot of young guys on here Sean, you might need to explain what a VCR is.

I DVR just about every show I watch and like Sean I skip all the commercials.  The only time I watch commercials is when I'm viewing Live@ on my laptop or watching a football game live on Sundays.

Originally Posted by sean_miller

I watch golf in the basement, on a tape, made using a VCR. I hit FF during the ads and if I miss a couple seconds of the broadcast, oh well, it's just golf. I haven't watched a commercial during a golf telecast in months.



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Except for those feed are generally crappy on a laptop let alone a big screen tv.  That is assuming you are talking about justin.tv, ustream, and the like.

For some reason the feeds from England are a lot better and clearer than those originating in the U.S.

The odd time one can get a HD feed.

And sometimes you get a feed not available on the regular network because the game is blacked out in that area.

Something is better than nothing.

The most annoying though on the hookup is those ads that tell you that you are the 10,000 th visitor and here is your prize.  I must be lucky because I get that about 10 times a week.

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Originally Posted by shades9323

I guess I don't see that as a significant issue. The average fan most likely not DVR'ing golf.



agree - this would only apply to the smart phone / electronic gadgetry generation

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