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-   -   Lpga: Take a lesson from the pga (http://www.mylpga.com/forum/f50/lpga-take-lesson-pga-5167.html)

Golferblogger 06-03-2009 03:42 PM

Lpga: Take a lesson from the pga
 
I'll make this short, but it only confirms what I've been talking about in my blog series about what's wrong with the LPGA on-air brand (Golferblogger | Golf help, talk, fiction, news and humor)

The PGA's Memorial Skin Games was held today. Two groups. Eight tour players. Tons of rain.

The talk was low. Emotions the same. Slogging through the rain. Shooting okay, but not lights out.

The stages was set for only one letter of the alphabet: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

But the announcers stepped up and created a fantastic narrative to the show. They uplifted Jack and Tiger to be virtual gods of the game, put down on this earth at Muirfield to, perhaps, find out what might have been.

The other players were dogged champions, nipping at the heels of greatness and, in a few instances, biting their butts.

It was exciting, but not over the top. It was nostalgic, but not drippy. And it all paid off.

I write a little about it on my blog above, or check out Examiner.com here:
Tiger Woods Examiner

PS: Some of the LPGA advertisements I've been seeing on TV are just fabulous....and NOTHING at all like what viewers receive during the tournaments. Now I know where all the Z's went.

Whistling Straight 06-03-2009 04:05 PM

LPGA tv productions don't compare to the PGA's. The money isn't available for top-notch broadcast talent as well as coverage, and, quite frankly, the crowds aren't there. In order to match "gladiator vs. gladiator", you should have atmosphere and someone other than Beth Daniel as an announcer.

Blue 06-03-2009 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whistling Straight (Post 85785)
LPGA tv productions don't compare to the PGA's. The money isn't available for top-notch broadcast talent as well as coverage, and, quite frankly, the crowds aren't there. In order to match "gladiator vs. gladiator", you should have atmosphere and someone other than Beth Daniel as an announcer.

I don't agree. It should not cost a lot to wake up the LPGA broadcasts. You don't need crowds, you don't need million dollar talent. All you need is some broadcasters that care about golf, have even read the LPGA media guide, and can do play-by-play not a post-mortem.

There are lots of niche sports on all corners of cable and satellite TV that have enthusiastic and informed broadcasters. I've been watching NCAA men's and women's lacrosse and NCAA softball this spring. The coverage is excellent and is not expensive. Surely this can be done for the LPGA.

ctmurray 06-03-2009 08:39 PM

I may be overstating this, but the PGA broadcast "picks" winners. They are helped by having a small handful of players nearly always at the top, and these have been "favorites" of the broadcasters for several years - so they are well known to anyone watching regularly. The Memorial Skins game is a primo example - they preselect the heroes and legends and limit the event to those well known players. They will cover Tiger's round during the broadcast even if he is not in the lead nor playing well. And any tournament without him suffers greatly in ratings.

The LPGA broadcasts seem to have picked fewer favorites. They have a larger number of players that win (on the PGA someone from outside the favorites club wins when the big boys are taking a break - but most of the top names are playing the LPGA events). And some of these LPGA winners are unfamiliar to the US audience. But we have not gotten to know them well because they won't win again for a year and might not even contend for a good bit. So their rounds are not covered on the limited time coverage (only the leaders). They are covering Wie somewhat more, but if she is truely out of the event they will have a short highlight of her round, showing mostly putting.

So yes you could blame the broadcasting a bit here, but it would require them to pick some favorites and pump them for several seasons to increase name recognition. Or a single player has to dominate for a couple of seasons and play their way into an LPGA favorites club. Annika use to be this player for a short while. Lorena made a start last year but cooled off this year a bit. In one way the broadcasts are more democratic - they cover the leaders of the tournament.

Whistling Straight 06-04-2009 02:06 PM

As Golfblogger says...the tournament fails to live up to the commercials. You can hype players on commercials but I think CT is on to something by mentioning the variety of LPGA players who are in contention every week. It's a risk to feature potential player match-ups on commercials tounting an LPGA tournament but it's a "safer" risk to tout the PGA guys because odds are higher Phil and Tiger are going to finish consistently on the first page of a tournament.

Tiger also posses the love/hate factor for people. America loves the underdog and even though we all respect his talents, it sure is refreshing to see him challenged and beaten. It's the same reason why Notre Dame football is such a high draw for NBC.

Here's where the LPGA differs...how do you hype a tournament that has: no real storyline; unidentifiable foreign players whom the announcers even struggle to correctly pronunciate; "boring" announcers; small crowds; and frankly, this year, a developing perception the tour is in trouble.

Blue 06-04-2009 03:42 PM

Some of what both of you are saying is true. The LPGA crowds are smaller. The announcers are poorly-informed and don't seem to care. But are there a a predictable set of winners on the PGA Tour each week? I don't think so.

It really comes down to three simple factors:
1.The PGA is men's sports. In sports, men rule. Men's golf is golf at its highest level and most sports fans, announcers, writers, sponsors, manufacturers, even clothing designers are men. Women's golf and the LPGA will always be a niche sports.
2. The PGA has Tiger Woods. He is on a different sphere than anyone else on the PGA Tour and most anyone else in sports.
3. Most of the top players on the PGA Tour are American. Fans can relate.

None of this is to say that the LPGA can't make their niche sport a lot better. The fact that it's a niche, that it lacks Tiger Woods and that it's populated by non-Americans with hard to learn names isn't a reason to run their broadcasts like documentaries of fish migrations or to come up with desperate ideas like tweeting during rounds or requiring English to be spoken.

xman5 06-04-2009 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whistling Straight (Post 85841)

Tiger also posses the love/hate factor for people. America loves the underdog and even though we all respect his talents, it sure is refreshing to see him challenged and beaten. It's the same reason why Notre Dame football is such a high draw for NBC.

They once did a poll.

Who was your favorite sportscaster. Winner Howard Cosell.
Who was your least favorite sportscaster. Winner Howard Cosell.

Thats love/hate.

I admire Tiger Woods as a player and a person.

I tune in to see what amazing thing will he do now.
I also tune in to see him get beaten, when possible.

I'll admit I haven't been watching a lot of PGA this year, and basically only watched when Tiger was involved or had a chance.

LoJo 06-04-2009 04:39 PM

It's the same love/hate that exists with the Wie lovers/haters.

There are those who tune in to see Wie crash and burn and there are those who watch because they think she will come from 20 strokes back to win the tourney.

No matter how many tourneys/majors Tiger wins, there are those who hate him and hope he fails. Same with Phil...some 'fans' hate his guts. Why? I dunno...sickos.

For the majority of the "niche" viewers of the LPGA, it's not about the golf per se. It's about personalities and hype.

Whistling Straight said it perfectly:
Here's where the LPGA differs...how do you hype a tournament that has: no real storyline; unidentifiable foreign players whom the announcers even struggle to correctly pronunciate; "boring" announcers; small crowds; and frankly, this year, a developing perception the tour is in trouble.
Bivens worst nightmare is that the leaderboard looks like a KLPGA leaderboard.

Fact is...no one loves or hates them. They don't care about them.

MarinePaul 06-04-2009 05:03 PM

The "not caring" is the scary thing. At least love and hate are emotions. Apathy just is.

LoJo 06-04-2009 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MarinePaul (Post 85856)
The "not caring" is the scary thing. At least love and hate are emotions. Apathy just is.

Exactly, MP!!


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