"With golf, less meant more."

In the post International stories, it's interesting to note this first (and inevitable?) look at how the Tiger effect now comes with as many negatives as positives. Bob Harig on ESPN.com:

But the problem with such deals is there is no negotiating when it comes to the $5.3 million purse. The players still get paid the same. And the advertising units assured to be bought on Golf Channel and NBC as part of the network contract with the PGA Tour must still be paid. TV takes no discount. The local tournament organizing committee, a nonprofit organization, still has to pay its bills, but with less money coming in from the title sponsor. So it gets squeezed, making it more difficult to give money to charity.

Sponsoring a regular PGA Tour event costs in the neighborhood of $7 million per year. That money covers a portion of the purse, a television advertising commitment, a fee to the PGA Tour and to the tournament. Spread that out over the six-year length of the network contracts, and you're talking about $42 million or more.

It is a hefty price, especially given the modest television ratings. Those small numbers -- usually in the 2 million-to-3 million range for a weekend network telecast -- were always justified because they were reaching the "right" kind of people … i.e. those with disposable income. With golf, less meant more.

But as the price has kept going up, those company executives began looking at the numbers more closely. And some of them have started to say that enough is enough -- especially if Woods doesn't play.