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TV ratings for Players down with Mickelson, Woods not in mix

TV ratings for the Players Championship on NBC were down 20 percent from 2009, according to The Florida Times-Union, and the PGA Tour would rather not talk about it.

The Tour, with 77 international players representing 21 countries, embraces the diversity of winners. However, overnight TV ratings indicate that American viewers want Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson in the mix, which didn't happen Sunday. The final round on NBC had a 3.3 overnight rating, down 20 percent from 2009 when Woods was in the final twosome. The overnight ratings for the third round Saturday were 2.5, down from 2.8 the year before.
The 3.3 rating means 2.5 millions households were tuned into Tim Clark's dramatic victory. Opposite the Players on Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers-Boston Celtics NBA playoff game on ABC drew a 5.1 rating (3.9 million households).
Never in contention, Woods withdrew from the event on the seventh hole Sunday before the television broadcast. Mickelson finished T17th. When Mickelson won the Masters in April (and Woods finished fourth), the tournament garnered its third-highest ratings ever, another example of the "Tiger Effect" on television viewership. Ratings for Tour events that Woods misses can fall by more than 50 percent. It's not something the Tour wants to talk about, according to The Florida Times-Union, especially as the injured Woods is out for another indefinite period of time.
When asked if he had any reaction to the lower ratings, PGA Tour executive vice president for communications Ty Votaw replied, "No."

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by Kevin Cunningham