So, you hoped “The Match” would be a one-time-deal, did you? Hard lines.
The early indications are that the made-for-TV exhibition will return.
It’s unclear who will feature, how much the prize fund will be, where it will be played or, indeed, when it will be played – but it will, in all probability, be back.
That’s according to David Levy, the president of Turner Broadcasting, which paid a reported $10m for rights to broadcast last weekend’s Tiger-Phil showdown at Shadow Creek.
"We are in this for the long haul," Levy told Sports Business Daily. "We don't have all the facts and figures, but based on early indications, total audience for the match surpassed expectations across all of our platforms."
Turner clocked up 750,000 unique video views and over 55 million consumed minutes on B/R Live for Tiger and Phil’s $9m duel. The total figure – when you factor in all pay-per-view distribution partners and other broadcast partners, like Sky Sports, who showed the event in the UK – is likely to be substantially higher.
Not even a few glitches in the streaming of the contest, which has prompted some network providers to issue refunds to customers who paid to view the event, is likely to put Turner off creating future editions of the event.
"You now have a franchise that you can use in many different ways," added Levy. "It's a little early to say what we’re going to do next… We're going to learn from this. We're going to do a lot of due diligence to make it better.”
Crucially, Levy noted that, despite public opinion on the contest being split, the event had hit the mark with its benefactors.
"All the sponsors want to come back," he said. "They all were extremely happy with the event and the coverage."