Golf, Others

Lee Westwood: Golf is expensive and time-consuming

Former World No. 1 golfer Lee Westwood believes that the dwindling pattern in golf viewership is premised upon two crucial factors; price and time.

Over the last few years, the sport has been suffering from a decrease in viewership and television companies have been trying out new ways to attract people to watch more of the action.

But Westwood thinks that it will become increasingly difficult to keep people hooked onto the sport, considering that it’s relatively expensive and it takes way too long to play.

“I think it’s difficult to boost viewership. The sport itself is expensive to play and the problem is that it takes too long,” he told reporters during a press conference at the Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

“For a regular person who works from 9pm to 5pm, how is she/he going to watch the game? I think it takes too long and this certainly has a massive dent on viewership. It will drive people away from the sport.”

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This comes after a recent controversy in the United Kingdom, where Sky Sports have secured the rights to broadcast the prestigious British Open. However, Westwood and several other big name golfers have publicly slammed the move.

BBC, a terrestrial channel, has traditionally hosted the affair, but subscription-based Sky have swooped in with a bigger offer this year. But with viewership going on a downward spiral, Westwood thinks that this move will only hurt the sport as not everyone would be able to afford the cost of subscribing to Sky Sports.

“I respect that Sky is putting a lot of money into the British Open; more than any other event in the European Tour and the Asian Tour. But I’ve always looked at the Open championship and thought that it suits BBC.

“The news is disappointing because there will now be some sort of package. The figures have dropped and people wouldn’t be able to view the next McIIlroy or the next Tiger Woods because they wouldn’t be able to watch it on BBC and they wouldn’t be able to afford the package.”


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