Is The Masters Still Must See TV for Sports Fans?
((Photo Courtesy: Me))
There are certain events in Sports that people will stop what they are doing to watch...at least in theory. The Super Bowl, The Final Four, The World Series, The College Football Championship Game and The NBA Championship.
The Daytona 500 was once one of those events--based on NASCAR's cratering TV ratings, the 500 is not the banner event it once was.
And then there's golf's "Marquee" event---The Masters.
The question I pose here: Is the Masters still a "Marquee" event or is it fading like the 500?
I guess it depends on your perspective.
Tickets for the event are still and likely always will be the premium purchase or acquisition in many, many people's lives. Held in the small town of Augusta on the eastern edge of Georgia, the entire town changes for one week every year.
Do you make it a part of your weekend to stop and watch the tournament? What is it about The Masters that inspires such loyalty? Golf itself is on the wane, the audience has been slowly eroding over the past few years not quite as abruptly as NASCAR, but the drop is noticeable. And much like NASCAR, golf suffers late in the Summer when football starts back up, the sport loses whatever attention it garners early in the season.
Having Tiger Woods back helps. Unfortunately it is not the Tiger Woods of the last decade who dominated the sports and made every event "Must See TV", it's an older, still strong and finally recovered from injury Tiger Woods who has not won a tournament since I believe 2007. Or is it 2009?
Golf does not have another Marquee name to take Tiger's place and nothing makes that more clear than the breathless coverage of a slightly above average Woods by the National Sports Writers the past month or so. Heck, somehow the guy ended up the favorite this week despite not winning a tournament in 10 or so years.
That's why I ask the original question here. Is the Masters REALLY must watch TV? I can't give a clear cut answer here because if you are a golfer or golf fan it probably is. But if you're a casual fan, the answer is probably not.