Thursday, February 10, 2011
Tiger Woods is Playing in Dubai, So Why Isn't That Live?
I unfairly criticize The Golf Channel at times, mainly because it's the only real golf outlet to harbor on, much like mainstream sports blogs heckle ESPN. The Golf Channel is our savior at times, because it's the only place to get real golf news, and I understand that.
But there are things it does wrong, and one of those things came this morning (or last night, depending on where you live). Tiger Woods was paired with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, the first time the top three in the world had been paired together since the 2008 U.S. Open, and were competing in the Dubai Desert Classic, an event Woods has had success at in the past. It seemed like a no-brainer for golfers to tune into, because it's a good tournament with incredible talent (after the first round, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia were atop the leaderboard).
But it wasn't live. It wasn't even close to live. Tiger's group kicked off at 3:30 AM ET, but The Golf Channel wasn't showing it until 9:30 AM ET, well past the time these guys would finish. My simple question; why?
Why not show it live. That is 12:30 AM for people on the west coast, and as the guys were making the turn, people on the east coast would be getting up. They'd have a chance to catch it over breakfast, and people could stay up and watch it. Instead, we get golf tape-delayed when we will already know the results, one of the least fun things television stations can do (remember Michael Phelps?).
I'm sure there is a business reason for this, and I'm not doubting that, it just seems like showing this live, even without broadcasters, would give fans a chance to tune into the Golf Channel instead of watching replays of shows that nobody is going to watch.
Tiger still brings viewers. Just give a chance to watch him.