Monday, January 28, 2013

Some CBS Affiliates Choose 'Dr. Phil' over Torrey Pines on Monday

When it became clear that the Farmers Insurance Open finish would be pushed back to Monday, most of the golfers probably assumed that the Monday restart would take place first thing in the morning. After all, many of those players needed to get to Arizona for this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open; some of them hoped to play in that tournament's Monday qualifier.

But PGA Tour schedules aren't created for the golfers, they are created by the TV networks. What the networks want, the networks get. And so the restart happened around 11 a.m. Monday in San Diego, allowing CBS to finish its broadcast in the late afternoon/early primtime on the East Coast.

And I don't have a problem with that! The TV networks pay billions of dollars to the PGA Tour, and a lot of that money trickles down to the players in the form of huge purses and fantastic perks.

Re-starting near noon rather than first thing in the morning cause you to miss the Phoenix Open Monday qualifier? Tough tees! Play better, and you won't need Monday qualifiers. Did it cause you to miss a flight? Tough tee boxes! Re-schedule, and quit your whining!

However, local CBS affiliates around the United States didn't take too kindly to CBS's broadcast schedule. Golf on a Monday afternoon? No thanks, many affiliates said.

Among the CBS affiliates around the country who declined to air CBS' coverage of the Farmers' Monday finish were major markets such as:

  • Atlanta
  • Hartford
  • Indianapolis
  • Orlando
  • Providence
  • Phoenix
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Antonio

Other CBS affiliates, such as Cincinnati's, shunted the golf coverage onto sister channels, such as a CW or an alternate digital channel, where many golfers probably failed to find it.

Why would local channels do this? In most cases, to air Dr. Phil or Ellen. Those syndicated afternoon talk shows are huge ratings winners for local channels. These channels probably didn't even have to think very hard about their choices.

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