Category: CBS

August 08, 2013

CBS Time Warner Cable customers face PGA Championship blackout

Posted at 10:28 AM by Scooby Axson

CBS is scheduled to broadcast the final two rounds of the PGA Championship this weekend, but for Time Warner customers with CBS in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas, they might have to find another alternative to watch the tournament.

The network is in a dispute with Time Warner, which pulled CBS off the air in numerous markets on Aug. 2 over fees that the network charges Time Warner. The blackout will affect more than 3 million viewers.

"Well, absolutely, our goal is to make sure that the PGA Championship is as visible and as watchable to as many people as possible,” Pete Bevacqua, the PGA chief executive, said during a Wednesday news conference at Oak Hill Country Club. “So we will continue to keep an eye on it as weekend coverage draws closer.” will have limited streaming of the tournament for all four days.

(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)


February 26, 2013

PGA Tour TV ratings plunge without Tiger, Mickelson

Posted at 12:33 PM by Mike Walker

Tiger_torreyWe suppose you could file this one under "Duh," but, according to, TV ratings for the last three PGA Tour events -- Pebble Beach, the Northern Trust Open and the Accenture Match Play Championship -- have dropped significantly from early in the season.

After a good start to the season, the last six professional golf telecasts on broadcast TV have had double-digit declines in overnight ratings. Sunday telecasts in particular have declined by 43 percent (Pebble Beach), 37 percent (Northern Trust) and 24 percent (Accenture) over the past three weeks.

Of course, before Pebble Beach, weekend golf ratings were off the chart as viewers tuned in to watch Phil Mickelson's win at the Phoenix Open (up 65 percent) and Tiger Woods's win at the Farmers Insurance Open (up 85 percent). The downward trend continued at the Accenture Match Play Championship last weekend after Woods and Rory McIlroy lost in the first round. (Mickelson didn't play the event.) 

Coverage of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship earned a 1.9 overnight rating on NBC Sunday afternoon, down 24 percent from last year (2.5), but up a tick from 2011 (1.8).

Last year, McIlroy made it to the finals against Hunter Mahan. This year, Matt Kuchar beat Mahan in the finals. According to SportMediaWatch, the Kuchar-Mahan match got the third-lowest Sunday rating ever for the tournament. The only two lower-rated Sundays were in 2011 (Luke Donald vs. Martin Kaymer) and 2010 (Ian Poulter vs. Paul Casey).

Photo: Tiger Woods at the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines (Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated).

January 23, 2013

How to watch PGA Tour events on your laptop or smartphone

Posted at 3:21 PM by Mike Walker

Live network coverage of the PGA Tour is coming soon to a laptop or smartphone near you.

The PGA Tour announced Tuesday that it would offer a live stream of the CBS Sports' telecast of the Farmers Insurance Open this weekend and continue to simulcast PGA Tour events online for the rest of the season. Visitors to and will be directed to a co-branded video player to watch live streaming of CBS Sports’ third-round telecast on Saturday (3-6 p.m. ET) and fourth-round telecast on Sunday (3-6:30 p.m. ET). The live streaming this weekend also will be available on PGA TOUR platforms as well as CBS Sports and CBS SportCaster applications for the iPhone, Android and iPad. CBS also will have a mobile web-based player available at

Golf Channel and NBC Sports coverage will also be available online at next week's Waste Management Phoenix Open, although only people whose cable companies carry the Golf Channel will be able to watch the Golf Channel's coverage online. NBC Sports' broadcasts -- like the CBS Sports broadcasts -- will be available to all Internet subscribers in the United States. The online streaming will not be accessible overseas.

All Golf Channel, through TV Everywhere availability, and NBC telecasts also will be streamed throughout the 2013 season, with Golf Channel available to multichannel video subscribers, and NBC’s weekend coverage of 12 FedExCup tournaments fully available beginning with next week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Golf Channel is televising the early rounds for all 30 FedExCup tournaments on NBC and CBS, as well as all four rounds for six tournaments.

CBS Sports also covers the Masters, which does its own streaming on the website and the tournament's associated apps.

“This is a significant milestone in the PGA Tour’s digital history,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a written statement. “We are excited to work with CBS Sports to bring live PGA Tour action online, and look forward to continuing our efforts with CBS, NBC and Golf Channel to develop ways golf fans can access live coverage of the PGA Tour from wherever they are.”

October 12, 2012

Truth & Rumors: NBC's weekend audience up 45% in 2012

Posted at 10:53 AM by Mark Dee

Memo to PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem: Send Rory a fruit basket. And one for Tiger, too.

The commish should be thanking his lucky -- and compelling -- stars for this year's TV ratings, which were way, way up over last year across all channels that broadcast the Tour, according to Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal.

Just how big a jump are we talking? Check out the chart that accompanied Karp's article below:

Screen shot 2012-10-12 at 8.39.45 AM

For NBC, the 3.42 million viewer average for weekend rounds marks the highest since their current contract began back in 2007. That contract gives NBC weekend coverage of some of the Tour's biggest tournaments, including the Memorial, the Players and, of course, the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Those were made for more compelling television this year than last, when Tiger Woods missed three months of the season, and the Woods/McIlroy rivalry/lovefest wasn't relevant atop the tour.

All that aside, somewhere you just know Johnny Miller is saying, "You're welcome."

August 14, 2012

Truth & Rumors: PGA Championship earns lowest TV ratings since '08

Posted at 1:59 PM by Mark Dee

Rory McIlroy elevated his game Sunday at the PGA Championship, but he couldn't do the same for CBS's TV ratings.

Running opposite the last day of the Olympics, Sunday's golf marathon drew a 3.9 overnight rating for Jim Nantz & Co., according to Sports Media Watch. That's down nine percent from last year, and 22 percent from 2010. In fact, this year's final round drew the lowest ratings since the PGA last ran against the Olympics in 2008 (when it drew a 3.0). According to the article, that year marked the tournament's lowest audience share since "at least" 1995. 

In addition to the Olympics, Tiger Woods's final-round fade didn't seem to help matters. The 2009 event, where Woods lost a Sunday duel to Y.E. Yang, drew a massive 7.5 rating -- nearly twice this year's crowd.

News isn't all bad for the PGA: It still drew more viewers than the final round of this year's British Open (which got 3.3). Granted, that broadcast takes place early Sunday morning in the U.S., so it doesn't benefit from the PGA's meaty Sunday afternoon time slot.

July 02, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Tiger Woods drives 188% ratings spike for AT&T National

Posted at 12:28 PM by Mark Dee

Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, it’s hard to deny the Tiger Effect on a golf tournament. The faithful and the cynics flocked together in throngs to CBS’s broadcast to watch Woods play the final round at Congressional Sunday. That drove the ratings through the roof, according to John Ourand at Sports Business Journal:

With numbers like that, the networks are probably fine letting the internet argue over just how “back” Tiger is. As long as he’s there on the weekend.

Greenbrier cleans up after storm damage
The Greenbrier will be somewhat less green, but this week's PGA Tour stop should continue on schedule despite storm damage over the weekend, according to The storm smashed "70 to 80 trees" across the Old White Course, said Jim Justice, the chairman and owner of the resort.

"The Greenbrier Classic 2012 will start on schedule this Monday and go off without a hitch," continued Justice. "It's really special to see how everyone has come together over the past 48 hours. While we have a golf tournament to put on, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the widespread damage and power outages the storms have caused throughout the Virginia's and our beautiful region. We hope that The Greenbrier Classic can help serve as a positive diversion during these difficult times."

Justice is right, though: Golf tournaments -- particularly ones held at exceedingly rural, five-star resorts -- rarely bump up against real world problems. But a good walk in a green field can be a nice distraction when they do.

And if the golf isn't diversion enough, hopefully Virginia can drum up enough power to juice the Bon Jovi concert scheduled to go off on Saturday. Or for Rod Stewart on Friday, or for Tobey Keith and Lionel Ritchie Wednesday… Wait, is this a golf tournament, anyway?

Portrush makes case for Open Championship as Irish Open host
The Royal and Ancients haven't brought an Open championship to Northern Ireland since 1951, but after last week's Irish Open at Royal Portrush, many are clamoring to end the surprising streak. Most reports said the event went off without a hitch, and called the audition a resounding success. As Golfweek's Alistair Tait writes:

This Irish Open proved Royal Portrush deserves to have the Open Championship. The tournament was a sell-out before play teed off, and fans came out in their thousands despite incessant rain and cold temperatures. Attendance for the week was 130,785, beating last year's 85,179 by the proverbial country mile…

… This felt like an Open Championship. The event ran without a hitch, and was a fantastic test run for a future Open. The first available slot for the game's oldest tournament is 2017. The R&A should seriously consider Royal Portrush again. The course deserves it, the fans will support it and it would be a fantastic Open venue.

If that didn't convince you, maybe the perspective from a comfortably seated spectator 3,000ish miles away will: It looked good on TV.

Rickie Fowler is determined to be the coolest golfer in the world. Or, Red Bull is determined to make Rickie Fowler the coolest golfer in the world. He's no stranger to Urban Hole-in-Ones, or playing horse with drivers in Downtown Atlanta. The latest example took place at the X-Games in L.A. and, well, just watch the video:

Still, we're not sure that was the most extreme shot of the weekend. Because on Sunday, Tiger did this:

Tweet of the Day


February 13, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Pebble Beach TV ratings reach 15-year high, spectator helps pro save strokes

Posted at 2:30 PM by Jillian Whalen

CBS reported having the highest ratings in 15 years during the final-round coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, according to Geoff Schackelford.

CBS Sports’ final-round coverage of the AT&T PEBBLE BEACH NATIONAL PRO-AM on Sunday, Feb. 12 (3:15-6:30 PM, ET), which saw Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods paired together with Mickelson firing a 64 to win his fourth Pebble Beach title, delivered the highest rating for the final round at Pebble Beach in 15 years (5.8/13; Feb. 2, 1997) with an average overnight household rating/share of 5.1/10, up 96% from last year’s 2.6/6 in the metered markets.

Unfortunately, what golf fans thought was going to be final-round coverage from Pebble was actually college basketball. CBS broadcasted the end of the Illinois and Michigan game before finally switching over to Pebble Beach. How did upset fans voice their anger for the delay? According to Golf Digest, Twitter was the medium. 

Onlooker speaks up

At this weekend's Women's Australian Open in Melbourne, a spectator from the crowd spoke up and saved Karrie Webb from making a big mistake. According to The Age, on the 13th green fellow opponent Yani Tseng asked Webb to move her marker one putter-head length to the side to clear her line. After Tseng putted, Webb went to move her marker back but in the wrong direction. She was about to pull the trigger when a man yelled: "Excuse me!"

''I just blanked it. I don't even remember moving it the other way, but I guess I moved it the other way. About 15 people standing on the other side of the hole (said). I was just about to pull the trigger and he spoke up. Which really caught me off-guard. In the end it saved a two-shot penalty. It was quite courageous of him, to speak up, and I'm thankful for it.''

Webb waltzed over to the man, a local club golfer, and handed him her golf ball after putting out. ''It saved me a couple of shots,'' she said later.

Tweet of the Day

April 11, 2011

Rumors: Female reporter barred from Masters locker room tells her side

Posted at 5:51 PM by Mike Walker

Tara Sullivan of The Bergen County Record wasn’t allowed into the locker room at Augusta National Golf Club with her male colleagues to interview Rory McIlory on Sunday night after the Masters tournament. On Monday, she explained what happened.

I decided to write my main column on McIlroy’s stunning collapse on Masters Sunday, so as he made his way out of the scorer’s hut on the 18th green, I joined the group of reporters waiting to interview him in a roped off area.

Always in search of another quote and more description and reaction to share with my readers, I followed McIlroy to the famous oak tree outside the clubhouse, a spot where golfers often stop to do more interviews. McIlroy kept walking, and so did the group of reporters I was with. We walked into the clubhouse and followed as McIlroy made his way to the locker room. At the final portion of the hallway, the one that ended at the locker room door, I was told by a female security officer that I was not allowed in.

That was it.

Sullivan said she later received quotes from the McIlroy interview from her male colleagues. She also asked Masters officials for a response.

Shortly after, I tweeted what had happened. I also approached the media desk for an official reaction. An apology was translated to me shortly after, and before long, Ethun met with me personally. “I apologize,” he said. “It was a complete misunderstanding by tournament week security and you should have rightfully been given access per the standard practices of major sporting events.”

Reaction around the web was varied. columnist Ray Ratto wasn’t overly concerned:

We'll deal with the Tara Sullivan matter first, and most briefly. The columnist for The (Bergen, N.J.) Record was barred from the locker room by what seems to have been an overzealous woman security guard, causing bursts of Martha Burk-esque nostalgia about the evils of Augusta National's good-old-boy reputation. She got a belated apology from the club, all the McIlroy quotes from two colleagues, the sympathy of many journalists and, for all we know, a promise of complete access starting today for the media round.

The upshot: The Masters is whatever you want it to be in your head. And Tara Sullivan is about to be treated very well at that golf course, starting in 2012.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Downswing Blog also invokes Burk and the controversy surrounding Augusta National’s male-only membership, but notes that other female reporters are allowed into the locker room there to interview players.

Pleasantly surprised to find we haven’t heard from Martha Burk in the wake of last night’s screwup in which a security guard wouldn’t let a female reporter in the locker room to join an interview with McIlroy. It’s a blemish, yes – especially considering the 2003 fight over a lack of women members – but the club was quick to apologize for what it called a “misunderstanding.” Two veteran reporters – USA Today’s Christine Brennan and’s Melanie Houser – were quick to state they’ve never encountered problems before. In this case, I’ll defer to them.

Christine Brennan didn’t touch on the Sullivan incident in her USA Today column, but discussed it on Twitter on Sunday night. 

Re: #Masters locker rm news: I have been in the locker rm here, as has Melanie Hauser. That said, a woman was denied & that's unacceptable.

Augusta National says it will investigate. I take them at their word and await the results. #masters @Record_Tara

Still, it's unacceptable for a credentialed journalist to be treated this way. How did #Masters guard not know the rules by Sunday night?

I asked specifically if Augusta National's no-women members policy could have caused this, and spokesman said, "No." @Record-Tara #masters

Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski questions the choice of the word “misunderstanding” to describe Sullivan being denied access to the locker room in his blog. I was walking out I noticed that Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times was talking with Tara, giving her a few of the quotes. I did not think much of it. I drove to Atlanta.

One thing I DEFINITELY did not think in 2011 was that Tara needed the quotes because she had been barred from the locker room because she is a woman. But, alas, this is what happened. Apparently, this was because of a "misunderstanding."

My point in this post is not the sexist policies of the Augusta National ... I'm pretty sure there will be no movement in how people feel about those. But I should pause for a moment to say that "misunderstanding," seems the wrong word choice here. Restrictive clubs do not have misunderstandings. They have policies they hope nobody will challenge. They have neanderthal views they mostly cloak in public and happily and pompously share behind closed doors -- after those closed doors are locked. Yes, they make the rare exceptions to their restrictive policies to keep things legal -- women reporters ARE, in fact, supposed to be allowed in the locker rooms during the Masters; longtime golf writer Melanie Hauser has been there often. I suspect that memo doesn't always get circulated.

Stephanie Wei of says she routinely has to explain to security guards at PGA Tour events that she is allowed in the locker room.

From what I’ve gathered, Sullivan’s experience on Sunday evening was a misunderstanding, which was cleared up as quickly as possible. No big deal. I’ve been stopped and questioned before by security guards at other tournaments who don’t think I have access because I’m a woman until I show them the fine print that says “locker room” access on my credential.

Also to Augusta’s credit, the Green Coats run a tight shop at the Masters and the security/volunteers/workers are overall more organized and proficient than the average event. Earlier in the week, my housemates and I joked that if only TSA were as efficient as the Masters (security lines, will call, bag check, concessions, etc.), it sure would solve a lot of problems and make navigating through airports way less excruciating.

Masters ratings 13 percent down despite fantastic finish
Mason Levinson of
reports that CBS’ ratings for the Masters are down 13 percent this year, despite a thrilling finish and Tiger Woods on the leaderboard.

The Masters Tournament was watched in 13 percent fewer households in the biggest U.S. markets than a year ago, according to preliminary information, as South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel captured the title and a final-round rally by Tiger Woods stalled on the final nine holes.

Yesterday’s fourth round at Augusta National Golf Club was watched on CBS in an average of 10.4 percent of households in the top 56 U.S. television markets, compared with last year’s 12.0 equivalent rating, CBS Corp. (CBS) said in a news release.

BBC ratings were down for a difference reason, according to The Daily Mail (UK).

Sunday night's coverage peaked at 3.6 million viewers at 10 p.m., a 16.3 per cent share of the total audience, but viewers began to switch off after that time, which coincided with McIlroy's painful struggles on the 10th, 11th and 12th holes.

The five hours of coverage between 7 p.m. and midnight still averaged 2.9 m, a more than decent return for the corporation.

President Obama explains why he plays so much golf
In an interview with Hearst Magazine editors, President Obama explained why he spends so much time on the golf course (via The Houston Chronicle).

He says he enjoys golf but is not the fanatic that some have portrayed him to be because of the frequency of his golf outings.

"It's the only excuse I have to get outside for four hours at a stretch," he told the Hearst executives.

Mr. President, you didn’t need to explain it to us.

Tweet of the Day:

Tiger @TigerWoods: Slight detour on the way home from Augusta, Shenzhen China

January 31, 2011

TV ratings for final round at Torrey Pines up 54 percent

Posted at 1:30 PM by Mike Walker

TV ratings for Sunday’s thrilling final-round showdown between Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson and rookie Johnny Vegas at the Farmers Insurance Open were up 54 percent over last year, when Ben Crane beat Michael Sim by a stroke, according to CBS Sports.

CBS Sports’ final-round coverage of the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday, January 30 (3:30-6:30 PM, ET), which saw Bubba Watson beat Phil Mickelson by one stroke and Jhonattan Vegas and Dustin Johnson by three strokes, scored an average overnight household rating/share of 3.7/7, up +54% from last year’s 2.4/5 in the metered markets.

Sunday’s final-round rating peaked at a 4.8/9 (6:00-6:30 PM, ET). In addition, Sunday’s 3.7/7 was the highest overnight rating for the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open since 2008 (4.6/9).

CBS Sports' third-round coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday, January 29 (3:15-6:00 PM, ET) earned an average overnight household rating/share of 2.5/6, up +47% from last year's third round 1.7/4 in the metered markets. Saturday’s 2.5/6 was the highest-rated third round for this event since 2008 (3.2/7).


September 15, 2010

Jim Nantz celebrates 25 years at CBS

Posted at 12:38 PM by

This week marks Jim Nantz's 25-year anniversary on the air at CBS. The five-time National Sportscaster of the Year listed his 25 favorite moments on A few of them, understandably, took place in Augusta.

Nantz's No. 1 moment was the 1992 Masters, in which Fred Couples, Nantz's close friend and former college roommate, won by two shots over Raymond Floyd. Here, Nantz awarded Freddy the green jacket.

No. 2 on Nantz's list was Jack Nicklaus's stunning win at Augusta in 1986. Here Nantz and Jack looked back at Nicklaus's birdie on the 16th hole in the final round.

Checking in at No. 6 is the 1997 Masters, where a 21-year-old Tiger Woods decimated the field by 12 strokes. Nantz's call of Tiger's final putt, "There it is, a win for the ages," remains one of the most famous in golf history.

For more on Nantz, read Alan Bastable's interview with the broadcaster, which appeared in the April 2010 issue of GOLF Magazine, and see Nantz's complete top 25 on

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