The Tiger Woods Effect: Ratings Surge at Farmers
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

Record-setting ratings have highlighted the start of the new season for the Golf Channel. In the first three events — without Tiger playing — the network recorded a 33% increase in viewership over last year. With Tiger’s much-anticipated season debut at the Farmers Insurance Open, imagine the impact Tiger had in the first-round ratings. Witness the Tiger Effect (via Golf Channel press release):

1.0  household rating

997,000 total viewers

Round 1 notes:

  • Up 89 % over 2010
  • Highest PGA TOUR round on Golf Channel since Round 2 of the 2010 Barclays
  • Highest Round 1 on Golf Channel since Round 2 of the 2010 The Players
  • Most-watched Round 1 at Farmers (San Diego event) ever on Golf Channel

Lesson in the numbers? Tiger moves the needle. Well, duh. If he doesn’t win soon, how long will the Tiger Effect last until people lose interest? I know, I know — I’m talking crazy. Just think about the ratings when Tiger is in contention on Sunday, especially at a major. Um, yeah.

Ponte Vedra Beach is keeping its fingers crossed that Tiger returns to his winning ways for leverage at the bargaining table with the networks in this year’s TV contract re-negotiations.

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)