Golf Coverage Echo Chamber

This is how I watch golf. Like @djpie said, speaks to a deeper issue. I will do everything I can to get some juice on the DVR before watching agian. If I catch up, I’ll press pause and go do the dishes or take the dog on a walk. Anything to load up on FFWD’s. Then try and force myself to stay off Twitter or Instagram so it doesn’t spoil anything. Not great!

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I have gotten pretty good at “catching up” to the live broadcast on the last two holes or so. My skills for ending a NFL game on my DVR simultaneously as the live broadcast are legendary.

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I understand your frustration but am deeply concerned for you. 10 hours of actually watching the coverage?? Good god man!!! I watch more golf than anyone I know personally and it never comes close to that except for the majors. Even then, I am drained and am questioning my role as a human being. Honestly I think golf is meant to be on in the background while you are either doing other things or sleeping and then maybe actually pay attention to just the back 9 on Sunday. I think the online world has created this FOMO environment for a lot of people, and now we are expecting you guys to let us know if anything happens while all the Twitter pundits race to be able to be the first one to announce it. Thank you for your service on this, but please get help.

So damn true. Recycled content to the extreme. I’ve completely steered away from any tweets related to tour golf or an outlier seen on TV - no chance my thought is original. A good one will get ya some likes but it generally doesn’t add any meaningful conversation. NLU broke golf twitter and now everyone thinks they are a golf fanalyst.

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Hahahaha, this is depressingly fair.

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This is extremely inaccurate. Unfortunately I can’t say much more than that, but someday when the tell-all is written, the full story will come out on how big of an impact the criticism has had.

*Impact might not be the right word, as they’re still just refusing to change any substantial part of the broadcast, but that’s also why I refuse to just let it slip by the wayside.

The most frustrating part to me is that people are somehow willing to lower their standards to “It’s better than nothing, right?” Imagine a world where we had a near complete monopoly on all golf content being made. And we just churned out shit each and every week. But you’re forced to watch it because it’s all there is. Would people say “can we agree it just sucks and all sit here and watch it and just move on?” Or would people give feedback with the hope that it would improve?

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Are we all just too into golf to sit back and enjoy it without criticizing everything?

The sport I follow the most outside of golf is the NBA. You know what NBA fans on the internet love to do? Complain about the broadcasts.

Players only is brutal. Marv might be blind. Local broadcasts are way too homery. Mark Jackson is an idiot. Van Gundy’s rants are tired. ESPNs studio show is awful. Reggie Miller. Etc. People like Inside the NBA though.

The more you like something, the more you seemingly hate it. Golf isn’t alone here. Is any sport immune? I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement, but live TV is hard. You’ll never be able to please everyone, especially the hardcore fans.

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Ok. Sure. So execs learn about the general sentiment from a small percentage of their overall viewership. That isn’t going to sway their opinion over total eyeballs. You basically admit as much given their refusal to make meaningful changes after this conversation has been on going for several years.

I still think my overall point rings true that the real way to hurt them is to stop watching, as opposed to beating the drum on Twitter.

Good theory, but I think you are only half right. I agree that fans, as in fanatics, flock to message boards because they are passionate about a subject. Unfortunately, the voice of discontent is louder than satisfaction because that is human nature. We expect things to go to our liking and when they don’t, we complain. However, I argue that criticism birthed by passion is valuable. I also argue that there can be dissatisfaction within the casual fan as well.

For instance, I will casually watch NBA games, but I can’t even tell you more than a player or two on any team. However, I can tell you that I HATE TNT’s halftime show. I have never expressed this view on a message board because I don’t have the energy to bitch about it as I am not emotionally invested in the NBA. So, there probably is dissatisfaction among casual golf fans; it is just that you probably won’t hear about it.

The idea of “fanatics” goes beyond sport. If you look at message boards for TV shows (e.g., Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, etc.), you will see complaints of plot points, character development, etc. This brings me to my next point. It’s not just live TV is hard, but any TV program.

The reason why we think live TV is so much harder is because we are forced to watch and listen to all the moving parts outside of the actual game/match/race. If you don’t like the presentation of a TV drama or sitcom, you just don’t watch it.

In the end, criticism birthed by passion builds a better product as it illustrates an evolving audience and the need to adjust a product offering. Hollywood movies do not utilize the same special effects methods from the 1960s. Car makers roll out new body styles. It is up to the passionate people to express what they want, otherwise, the product becomes insignificant.

I agree with this to an extent. I mentioned on the pod that it’s totally possible that it’s a “me” problem and maybe I’m burned out from watching too much. (Although, I’ve never gotten more messages after a pod than I did today from people feeling the same way.)

But I also think the NBA is an unfair comparison because their product is so different (read: exciting to a much larger fan base). The complaints you’re referencing there just seem like standard sports talk radio complaints. That’s a lot different than if people were saying, “This sport is getting boring to watch.”

And I’m definitely not rooting for people to feel that way. But the more I’ve seen it presented that way, the more I’ve felt that way. And that seems bad.

Funny you say that about TNT’s studio show, because the overwhelming consensus is that its by far the best NBA show, arguably one of the best in all sports.

I’m sure there is plenty of dissatisfaction among casual golf fans. But that category would represent about 90% of my golf group, and I never hear them complain about coverage. Of course I recognize thats anecdotal.

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To be honest, I think I share the sentiment of being excited for the WGC-Mexico. It’s a big, dumb tournament, with no cut and a field that’s been getting fat off of OWGR points. It’s also 338-to-unknown, drives getting knocked down by the tree-chute leading the way from each tee box, and professional golfers guessing on their distances like weekend warriors at your local muni.

I’m not sure it matters to me, right now, whether it’ll be played on CBS or NBC. Maybe it will this weekend.

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I’m very earnestly jacked up for this weekend. The fans are gonna be hyped. There’s gonna be weird rules fiascos. Guys are punching through trees. Azinger will come out of the gates firing. ¡Viva Chapultepec!

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image https://img.gifglobe.com/grabs/parksandrec/S02E05/gif/MopEprdWyryD.gif

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I probably didn’t do a great job of detailing the criticism, because it goes way beyond normal sports radio complaints. It mirrors the golf coverage criticism from NLU and other media outlets. Whether its true or not, fans of the NBA (and presumably other sports) at least claim that they won’t watch games depending on the commentary. I know I can’t sit through a random NBA game if Players Only is covering it.

This is a decent example of what I’m getting at, but there are hundreds/thousands more.

If you don’t know what Players Only is, imagine if Nick Faldo was calling a golf tournament without actually watching any golf shots and he never stopped talking.

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Not without bitching about it on air though.

So I guess the difference in my mind is this: If I was mad online about the telecast, but someone could say “We don’t care! Ratings are way up!” I would genuinely say, “Well that sucks for me, but I guess I get it.” (Assuming this is the response to most of the NBA complaints.)

I don’t need to explain what’s going to happen to ratings in a post-Tiger world to anyone here (look at the ratings before his recent comeback) and that’s where the core of my ire with the telecast lies. Not only is it not attracting anyone new, now it seems to be (only speaking for myself) turning off hardcore fans too. It just seems lose-lose and so short-sighted.

So, I’m sure it’s annoying to hear constantly if this isn’t something that you care about, and that’s totally understandable. But to me it seems like a real-ass problem that golf is gonna have to reckon with way sooner than it’s prepared to.

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People have to remember this one basic tenet about all television, not just golf: in the eyes of a television station (CBS), viewers are not the customer. Advertisers are the customer, and the viewers are what’s being sold. Now, they still need to make decisions in order to try and maximize viewers, but they’re doing so with the advertiser’s interests in mind, not ours.

I offer up this question, not really having a good answer: how can we align viewer interests with advertiser interests? How can we make showing more golfers and showing more golf shots beneficial for the advertisers? Because ultimately if CBS needs to keep showing golf this way to keep the sponsors happy, that’s what they’re going to do.

Dvr the tournament. Get off Twitter. Very simple, but perhaps not easy, steps to enjoy golf and slightly improve your life.

If you like watching golf…and golf shots, dvr allows you to do that. If you like watching golf shots, you dont need to be looking at your phone for lols. Plus you will save yourself at least an hour of weekend time per day.

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To be fair, Players Only broadcast is brutal and as much as I actually like Van Gundy, sometimes I think he rants just to rant. Now I could listen to Marv Albert’s voice all night. But that has more to do with growing up listening to him. Same reason why I was a Tim McCarver and Jon Miller fan.