Golf legend Tiger Woods has suffered a huge hit to his public image this year, thanks to his tawdry sex scandal, but television networks and the PGA are only too happy to have the world’s No. 1 golfer back.
Phil Mickelson won the 2010 Masters Tournament earlier this month, but all eyes were on Tiger, as his return to pro golf delivered the highest TV ratings to CBS for its Masters coverage in nine years.
Indeed, viewership for the final round of the Masters climbed 36% over last year. Similarly, Woods was a ratings bonanza for ESPN, which also televised the tournament.
TIGER = RATINGS WINDFALL
To capitalize on Woods’ unprecedented popularity, NBC just announced that it will air the third and fourth rounds of the US Open from Pebble Beach, Calif., in prime time on June 19 (4:30-11 p.m. ET) and June 20 (3-9 p.m. ET).
All this just goes to show that money does indeed talk, and that sometimes bad publicity can be just as good (if not better!) for the bottom line as good PR.
WOODS’ SCANDAL SHINES SPOTLIGHT ON SEX ADDICTION
Meanwhile, Tiger’s shocking descent into the annals of celebrity scandals is shining a spotlight on sex addiction, with some saying it’s not a real condition and is merely a cop-out to excuse bad behavior.
“Sex addiction by itself is not a diagnosis we currently use,” says Craig Fabrikant, a psychologist in New Jersey. “It’s like a lot of patterned behaviors that could be better described as obsessive-compulsive traits.”
However, others insist the affliction is real. “It’s a real brain disease, and these people deserve to recover like everyone else,” says Michelle Rappaport, a certified sex addiction therapist.
ELIN AND TIGER HEADING FOR DIVORCE?
Meanwhile, Woods, who underwent rehab for sex addiction in January, remains reticent about his addiction and his crumbling marriage. Numerous media report that Tiger, 34, and his wife, Elin Nordegren, are on the brink of divorce.
Nordegren, 30, reportedly flew back to her native Sweden this week with the couple’s two children — Charlie, 1, and Sam, 2.
For his part, Woods is back to what he does best: playing golf. Tiger just announced on his website that he will play in the Quail Hollow Championship April 29-May 2, in Charlotte, N.C. It will be the second event of the year for Woods, who tied for fourth in the recent Masters Tournament.
“[Quail Hollow] always been one of my favorite courses,” says Woods, a three-time U.S. Open champion. “I can’t wait to go back.”
Read more on Tiger Woods below:
- Tiger’s 1st interview since scandal: ‘I didn’t recognize myself’ (video + transcript)
- Tiger Woods loses $100M Gatorade endorsement deal
- Elin Nordegren loses 10 pounds from stress of Tiger Woods affairs
- Tiger Woods is a moron; Elin Nordegren is a stone fox
- Tiger Woods teased about weight gain on eve of press conference