Even before Woods tweaked his back Sunday, CBS was going all in on Rory McIlroy with their advance promos for this week’s PGA Championship. Multiple network ads during the Bridgestone Invitational highlighted the Irish golfer’s bid to win a second straight major at his victory at the British Open.
It is yet another sign that the transition has begun from the Woods era in golf to McIlroy.
“When you air an event, you want to promote what you think is the most marketable,” said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus. “And right now, the most marketable thing in golf is Rory McIlroy.”
Jim Nantz, CBS’ lead voice on golf, thinks the transition actually began with McIlroy’s landslide victories in the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship.
“This is something that didn’t happen in the last three weeks,” Nantz said. “He’s won three major championships in the last three years. It’s exciting for the game. I can’t wait to see what he’s going to have for us at (the PGA). We’ve seen this before — and you know who I’m talking about — where you go, ‘Who’s going to beat this guy?’ That’s what it feels like.”
McIlroy has a ways to go when it comes to being a TV ratings force like Woods. Sunday’s final round of the Bridgestone was down 21 percent from 2013 when Woods won. However, the 3.0 rating was the highest rating for golf since the U.S. Open; 1 ratings point is worth more than 1 million homes. So maybe people are starting to catch on to McIlroy.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times