As NFL numbers hit 7-year lows on the first weekend, the PGA Tour's recent run of down ratings continued the cord-cutting era trend, only in more spectacular fashion.
Sports Media Watch reports that the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick drew a 1.2 final round. Without NFL competition and a weak slate of college football games, the third round actually out-drew the last day (1.3/1.9 million viewers). SMW looks back to 2012 for comparisons after last year's was a rain-delayed event. There was also this for the BMW...
Sunday’s 1.2 rating is tied as the second-lowest for final round coverage of the tournament since the FedEx Cup began in 2007.
Playoff fever! Opt-out time! Ca--chingnotsomuch.
The numbers are fascinating since conventional wisdom would suggest this could be the worst possible time for the PGA Tour to opt out of its network deal, presumably in search of more money thanks to additional bidders (ABC? FOX?).
However, that seems unlikely given that the sports rights bubble has burst. Although the numbers could set up an opt-out discussion that allows the next Commissioner to reimagine the playoff schedule timing. Maybe one that ends on Labor Day? Dan Hicks touched on this possibility on ShackHouse this week.
I still contend that trying to jam the playoffs into the post-PGA Championship, pre-NFL window will not work and that a fall finish to the season, with a restart in January gets the playoffs away from football when people are most excited about it, while also giving people a chance to catch their breath after a busy summer schedule.