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In 2008, we learned what happens to TV ratings when Tiger's not around

When Tiger Woods called it quits halfway through 2008, television executives blanched. Woods is the Oprah of golf. When he plays, ratings are big; when he wins, they're huge; and when he's absent, well, you're probably watching something else.

Look no further than the Tiger-less 2008 British Open and PGA Championship. The British had its smallest audience in 17 years and the PGA was the least-watched major in the 36 years that Nielsen has tracked ratings. Here's a look at the ratings for each of the 48 majors since 1997, Woods' first full season as a professional. (Rating points represent the percentage of U.S. households that tuned in.)

When he wins, we watch
Average ratings since 1997, Tiger's first full season as a professional

When Tiger wins: 9.5
When Tiger doesn't win: 7.4

U.S. Open
When Tiger wins: 6.3
When Tiger doesn't win: 4.6

British Open
When Tiger wins: 4.7
When Tiger doesn't win: 3.9

PGA Championship
When Tiger wins: 6.0
When Tiger doesn't win: 4.5

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