The 2011 Masters Was Fun to Watch in Part Because of Less Television Commercials
After watching what was arguably one of the best Masters Sunday finishes in years, I get up this morning and start checking email, Facebook and Twitter and I see the following tweet:
Voldematt: I'm very happy that Charles Schwab won the Masters, but can we please now go back to NOT talking about the most boring game in the world???
Golf boring? Really?
How could you call Sunday's Masters boring?
At one point on Sunday there were at least nine golfers within one or two shots of the lead with just a few holes left to play.
After thinking about it for a moment, I think I realized why most casual fans think golf is boring on television —there are way too many commercials
On most weeks the ratio of commercials vs. actual coverage of the golfers doesn't come anywhere near that of the Masters.
Of course the Masters is different because Augusta National controls the amount of commercials.
Over the weekend CBS showed a short spot featuring Joe Ford, Vice Chairman of Augusta National explaining how they were pleased to continue the tradition of minimal commercial interruption—with 56 minutes of every hour showing golf.
Does the amount of commercials during a PGA telecast make you not want to watch?
During telecasts of most PGA events, the commercial vs. playing time ratio is maybe a 60/40—meaning about 35 minutes of golf each hour with commercials taking up the rest. Sometimes it is even worse.
And yes, I have actually timed it myself. Sometimes three minutes of golf coverage is followed by five minutes of commercials. They then come back for five minutes of golf before going to commercial again.
In most sports telecasts commercials are shown during time outs, between innings or whenever the natural breaks of that sport are.
Golf telecasts don't have that structure and go to commercial way too often.
I realize the networks would never make money from televising most PGA Tour events if they were limited to four minutes of commercial time each hour.
But come on, the PGA Tour really needs to put some kind of structure in place that controls when the networks can go to commercial break. And they need to put some kind of control on the golf vs. commercial time ratio for each hour as well.
Sports fans have many choices on what they can watch, and most don't want to watch 30 to 35 minutes of commercials every hour.
I think if Sunday's Masters telecast had the same amount of commercials as a regular PGA Tour event, many viewers would have switched to something else.
If the PGA Tour wants to gain back some of the viewers it has lost, perhaps they need to make it more watchable by limiting the amount of commercials fans have to endure.
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