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2014 Players Final Round Ratings Down 54%

Last week Ed Sherman penned an interesting Awful Annoucing story with thoughts from various insiders at golf in a post-Tiger world.

Today he links to a item looking at the 54% drop (2.6) in Sunday's final round rating for NBC's broadcast of The Players, where Martin Kaymer held off Jordan Spieth. The 2012 Players drew a 3.4, putting this year down 24% from Matt Kuchar's win.

The 5.7 for the 2013 Players included Tiger winning, whereas 2014 did have a deadly delay during back nine play. Which may explain how Saturday's third round average (2.0), was down 24% from 2013 (3.0).

On Saturday, third round action drew a 2.0 overnight — down from last year (3.0).

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Reader Comments (32)

I DVR most events, but we were traveling for Mother's Day so I didn't watch a second of the final round and I forgot to DVR it. After seeing a few highlights I don't think I missed a whole lot.
I was a little rankled that I didn't get to see Kaymer's entire 17th hole. How did he wind up there in two? I have no idea still to this moment.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterChicago John
Also, just one other note: TV ratings are complete crap. They aren't accurate, but because of Nielsen's money invested in a flawed system it hangs around.

Today's DVR-receivers are always on, even if you power them off. That means that if you were watching ESPN when you flipped off your TV last, you are still counting as "watching" it. Keep that in mind for all of the bars across the country and one can see why the "rating" it did is completely meaningless.

It's time for a newer, more accurate rating system that accounts for a exponentially growing part of the audience that DVR's everything (including sports).
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterChicago John
His tee shot landed beyond the bunker but short of the putting green. It hopped and then spun left towards about 8:00 stopping in the rough just outside of the water hazard margin. He then fluffed the chip.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
True story, happened today...

...have a friend that's struggling and now living on the street (or alternatively in the shelter system). Today we had lunch and the restaurant has a bunch of TV's one of which was tuned to ESPN. When the golf highlights came on out of the blue he says "we didn't get to watch any golf at the shelter over the weekend"... I said "oh yeah, why not"? His reply...."Tiger wasn't playing"...
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Why should I care as a golf fan what the ratings were? Is there any chance the tournament will not be on TV next year?
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Matthew IV
John Matthew,

Maybe not next year, but if the trend continues look for coverage to become less and less of the weekend/course. Networks will not keep showing stuff that isnt competitive with the 6th and 7th rounds of the NFL Draft.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCheeks
If Jim Furyk's new putting routine catches on, ratings are sure to take a nose dive. I think it may be time for three new rules for tournament golf: 1.) After your first putt you can't mark your ball again unless you are in someone's line, 2.) placing an aiming line on your ball should be made illegal, and 3.) if you want to use your caddie to show you the line you should be forced to play on the LPGA tour rather than the PGA.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill Seeberg
A declining game, showing declining numbers? Not exactly shocking.

Finchem is a turd in a punchbowl, but the Tour's purses are amazing given
the product and this economy
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Dough
Screw the TV ratings, DTF. Lunch? I did see the word "friend" imbedded in that story, yes? Nothin' like three hots, a cot and a shower with fresh towels waiting to make your mind right.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
A German, a kid from Texas and a passel of malcontents. I, of course, watched a fair bit because I'm a demented golf fan who likes the occasional tour struggle. And, on that level, this lil event was pretty solid. TPC stands for "Tour Players Choke", doesn't it?
05.12.2014 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
After the weather break (enforced safety interruption), the NBC commentators were trying for a Furyk win. Nothing better than a meltdown in broadcasting, bad news is good news. Thank Kaymer for that incredible clutch putt that kept it on course for his deserved victory. Go Martin the German!
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoger Fanbelt
At the risk of incurring Golf Channels ( or is it NBCGolf ..ugh) wrath, Spieth really is about as compelling as a baloney with mayo on white bread.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
Still my third favorite major. Nive leaderboard indicating the new breed.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered Commenterpanco
If Jordan Spieth is the future of golf on TV.. I hit the off button. The worlds most uninteresting 20 year old.

And having golf on 49 weeks out of the year is totally asinine.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered Commenterv60golfer
I wish they would stop having it on Mothers Day. What a bad day to try and sit down and watch some golf (or any sport for that matter).
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Suits me....screw the TV ratings.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Golf saturation.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRon
One has to admit, last year's choking was more rewarding and more epic than this year's. Watching Sergio dunk a pair was life affirming. Kaymer spit up, wiped up and still managed to win. Not as compelling theater.
05.13.2014 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
How can the ratings not be down? Get those assinine mouthpieces to stop with the constant, never-ending, mind-killing, drivel. Shut da funk up already! Show the shots. I could rant about this for all of 3 minutes, but I'll finish with this: I'm watching to see the golfers hit their shots, not to listen to the boys in the booths ramble on forever. Please, please, please.
05.13.2014 | Unregistered Commentermeefer
meefer, you make some great points..... I wonder when/if they will ever get the message that the current format is not working? Problem is if they're not talking they can't constantly name drop the various sponsors...
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Anybody know the viewership trends since it moved from its old position two weeks before the Masters?

I always thought it used to have a very special positioning. If some events were events were rained out, I don't recall. I do remember many thrilling final rounds and always making time for it.

In May, some of us around the country are working on our gardens. Or our games.
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterClaude
Yep. Everybody should just keep reinforcing just how awful the game is going to be when Tiger ain't a factor anymore. That will surely change things for the better.

And no - I didn't call you Shirley.

DOOMED, I tell ya. The sky is falling and everyone is DOOMED.
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
Nooo PLAYA. The media boys and everyone else will just have to adjust their expectations as Tiger eventually leaves the scene. They had a good 20 years. Nothing to be bitter about. Maybe they'll give the guy some credit instead of trolling his ex-wife every time she shows her face. Whats Chris Evert up to these days?
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEnigma
I can understand (aside from Tiger not playing) why the ratings are down. It's boring. We spend too much time watching guys waste two minutes lining up 3-footers. Hey, ban the damned Sharpie alignment lines on the ball. Get on with it. The coverage spends too much time watching guys putt. I recall a few years ago at Innisbrook when I tracked the shots being aired, it was like 4 putts per 1 full swing. It makes you want to scream sometimes.

Make shot-tracer standard on every telecast, for the actual swing, not the replay. Hey, it's my wish list. You want to enhance coverage to make me more eager to not turn the channel - give me the shot tracer. I'd also like to see aim-point used on the greens a bit more, since that's where a majority of the coverage seems to be concentrated on.

And please, television networks... inform your commentators and analysts to spend three weeks watching the European Tour's broadcast, and have them take notes. Maybe they'll figure out that words-per-minute isn't the goal here. If you don't have something worth contributing about what's happening, don't contribute!

And any host who talks while a player is either (a) talking with his caddie or (b) swinging a club should be immediately banned from future telecasts.

Everyone wants to lay the blame the poor ratings on Tiger's absence. That's not the only reason people don't tune in. It's that they're bored with the same-old same-old week after week after week, with very little there to enhance the real quality of the broadcast. Too much time with absolutely nothing going on. And 4 hours of it no less.

Wake me up when the US Open gets here.
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
>> Hey, ban the damned Sharpie alignment lines on the ball.

Yeah -- make the players use the markings that were put on the ball when it was manufactured instead. Oh wait, nothing would change in that case except that officials would have to determine whether the identification mark placed by the player satisfied the new ban OR whether the player's replacement of the ball satisfied a requirement that the ball not placed such that any marking on the ball could assist with alignment.
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Dang Carl you just take the fun out of everything rules related ;-)
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Remove your last two words please. ;)
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
I appreciate Carl's cynicism, because what he said is probably what would end up happening. Not so much cynicism as it is reality.
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
Chirkinian knew everybody's routing, and didin't want to was telecast time showing
Nicklaus doing his Walt Disney imitation.
He would cut to Jack when his left arm?head set to the right started.
The current producers/directors, really don't seem to know the shot process of the guys they
are covering.
Why show Jim Furyk until after he steps away? Learn who you're covering, it will help.
05.13.2014 | Unregistered Commentersaltperdine
I didn't mean to sound cynical - I meant to show that you hadn't given this matter sufficient thought.
05.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
that was supposed to be "routine" sorry
05.13.2014 | Unregistered Commentersaltperdine
It's not only the sharpie line. We have guys like Rose holding up their putter for alignment with the sharpie line to fine tune the 3 foot putts. Makes me wanna toss my brew

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