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The Tiger Woods 'Halo Effect' Drives Up PGA Championship Ratings

The Tiger Woods 'Halo Effect' Drives Up PGA Championship Ratings

If there were any lingering doubts about Tiger Woods' popularity, they weren’t evident at the PGA Championship Sunday in St. Louis.

The golfing legend may not have won, but he stole the show and virtually of all thunder from eventual winner Brooks Koepka.

The Tiger Woods 'halo effect' lives on. TV ratings were up 69 percent from last year's PGA Championship. The event, broadcast on CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) saw its highest ratings since 2009, when Woods lost his chance for a 15th major to unknown Y.E. Yang.

'It's Like The Old Days'

“Yesterday, Tiger had his patented Tiger charge and there was a huge spike in ratings. Despite his injuries and past troubles, it proves how resilient he is even though he hasn’t won in over 10 years,” media consultant Brad Adgate told Benzinga.

Adgate is convinced that, after Woods' strong showing in the last two majors, he will go on to capture his 15th major championship.

“He’s had two decent majors back-to-back. If I’m CBS or FOX I’d have to be pretty excited about next year's prospects if the last two majors are indication of where he is physically and mentally. It’s like the old days, Tiger’s playing and he’s been a contender. They can probably charge higher advertising rates next year." 

Ratings for the PGA Championship peaked at 8.3 at 7-7:15 p.m. eastern time Sunday. The event will be held in May next year for the first time to improve its presence within the PGA Tour season.

The Role Of Social Media

“The PGA Championship is probably weakest grand slam event, but social media has played an important role in viewership because it helps pull in viewers that may not have even known it was going on and [whether] Tiger was in contention. It enhances the viewing experience,” Adgate said.

If Woods wins another major, Adgate predicts more than 10 million viewers will be watching.

“It will be the most-watched golf tournament in some time," he said, referencing the final round of the U.S. Open in 1995, which drew more than 10 million pairs of eyeballs.

"The first time he won the Masters in 1997 he got over 20 million viewers, so surpassing 10 million viewers is certainly a realistic number that advertisers would go along with," Adgate said.

One thing is certain: there are few things on TV that are more compelling than Tiger Woods wearing his signature red on Sunday making a run at another major title.

Related Links: 

Tiger Woods Still Has 'Halo Effect' On TV Ratings

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Photo by Keith Allison/Wikimedia.


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