Weekend Tube Review: Tiger's Good For Ratings

U.S. Open: ↵
↵NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open pulled a 6.4 rating (7 million-plus viewers), a 15% improvement over last year, and during Tiger's last few holes, the broadcast got over an 11 rating(12 million viewers). And while the golf didn't disappoint, the majority of the commentators did. Hosts Bob Costas and Jimmy Roberts did a good job early on, but as the Final Round labored on, the addition of Curtis Strange and Peter Jacobson was just awkward. Costas looked lost when the two came joined him in the booth, and NBC would have been better off without the studio show at all. Well, that would have been the case if the call of the action on the course hadn't been just as uncomfortable. ↵

↵ ↵Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller led the viewers through all eighteen holes, and while some can stand Miller's critical commentary (I'm one of them), it’s easy to see how some view him as a distraction. Hicks, on the other hand, provided little in the way of analysis and messed up scores on multiple occasions. Miller often referred to on-course analysts after making a point while he almost completely ignored Hicks. How many times did Miller end a sentence with, "Eh Roger?" (directed at on-course reporter Roger Maltbie) after Hicks asked him a question? ↵

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↵In a Final Round that spoke for itself, NBC did it's best to distract the viewer from the great golf. ↵

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↵ ↵NBA Playoffs:
↵Game Five actually bested Tiger's run after pulling in over a 12 Nielsen rating. This is pretty amazing considering the game is inexplicably being played at 9pm on a Sunday, but having a big-market, east coast team like Boston involved surely helps. The trio of Breen, Jackson and Van Gundy had one of its best games of the Playoffs and now heads to Boston for Games 6 and 7 (if necessary). ↵

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↵The most interesting parts of ABC’s broadcasts are typically Van Gundy’s tangents. During yesterday’s game, for example, he somehow worked in bowling, childhood obesity, knife fighting and Sasha Vujacic's workout program and kept me entertained until the finish. It can be distracting at times (like I've mentioned here before), but as long as he cleans it up during the game’s waning moments, I'm alright with it. Here's a taste: ↵

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↵ ↵Quotes of the Weekend: ↵
↵"’How I Play Golf,’ by Tiger Woods and after you've poured through this I suggest you pick up ‘How I Compose A Symphony,’ by Ludwig Von Beethoven and you'll have exactly the same chance as achieving the standard of the author."- Bob Costas on Tiger Woods’ book ↵

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↵"Look at him hack at that. I've never seen him play a hole like this in his whole career."- Johnny Miller during Tiger Woods' double bogey adventure on hole one. ↵

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↵"Do you need to chant M-V-P after a guy's already won it?"- Jeff Van Gundy in reference to the Staples Center crowd ↵

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↵"Tiger sounding more like an NFL Lineman in the trenches than he is a golfer today."- Dan Hicks ↵

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↵"For some reason I don't look at either one of those guys like I look at Mike Tyson."- Mark Jackson after Derek Fisher and Ray Allen got into it a bit ↵

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↵"You start the second quarter and you have a nice lead in the game. You sit Kobe Bryant for the first three minutes and you get nothing. You put Chris Mihm in the game, this guy hasn't played basketball in two years! He's in the ballgame in the Finals of an elimination game?!"- Jon Barry on Phil Jackson's decision to play Mihm ↵

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↵"Tiger's putting the heat on him and he's melting."- Johnny Miller on Lee Westwood ↵

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↵"I think it's very important that he [Woods] does make birdie. You know as they say about the lesser team, you let them hang around and they'll make a three on you at the buzzer."- Curtis Strange ↵

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↵"This is like watching the last laps of a NASCAR event and the car has a flat tire.”- Johnny Miller in regards to Tiger Woods' knee ↵

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↵"If you get thrown down by a 38-year-old, you've got to get a new strength program."- Jeff Van Gundy after Sasha Vujacic fell to the ground after wrestling for the ball with Sam Cassell ↵

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↵ ↵Video of the Weekend:
↵Tiger Woods sends the U.S. Open to an 18-hole playoff on Monday with this putt on the final hole: ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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