TELEVISION executives have been given a reminder almost as painful as Tiger’s knee injury about the loss in viewers they will suffer as a result of the world number one’s absence from the screens for the rest of 2008.
Analysis by TV Sports Markets showed that Woods’ epic US Open play-off victory over Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines last Monday helped Sky Sports to some healthy viewing figures for the tournament. Armchair fans lapped up the 19-hole head to head battle between Woods and Mediate, offering as it did a virtually uninterrupted view of Tiger for the entire late afternoon and evening broadcast.
The Sky Sports audience for the golf on Monday peaked at 631,000 at 9pm Irish time and constituted an 100,000 increase on the previous night’s peak when Britain’s Lee Westwood was contesting first place.
That said, this year’s figures were down on 2007’s US Open fourth round, which weighed in with an average audience of 340,000 on Sky Sports, considerably higher than this year’s average audience.
Tiger was also in contention then but Oakmont, last year’s venue, was on the US East Coast, with play coinciding with prime time in the UK and Ireland. Torrey Pines is a further three hours back on Pacific time, while the Monday play-off will also have clashed with the working day.
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