By Paul Gueorgieff
Golfer Pacific editor
Normal transmission has resumed — golf is back on the television.
Last month it was announced that the world’s richest golf circuits for men and women — the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour — were returning to subscriber television, Sky TV.
Both tours had previously been the domain of subscriber internet, Coliseum Sports Media.
Coliseum had taken over the rights for the two tours since the beginning of 2016 and it proved controversial.
It meant that viewers who previously subscribed to Sky TV, mainly for a variety of sports coverage, were suddenly being asked to subscribe to an internet broadcaster for just one sport.
It was not an option most were prepared to make.
The main reason would undoubtedly have been additional cost. If you are already paying for a wide range of sports coverage there is always going to be reluctance to start paying an additional amount for one other sport.
It also makes me wonder how so many people say that the way of the future for coverage of anything has to be over the internet. That is certainly the case but only if you don’t have to pay for it.
As soon as you ask someone to pay a single dollar for anything on the internet, people stay away in their droves.
This very scenario is something two of New Zealand’s main news’ outlets are struggling to come to grips with.
The two news’ organisations have been reluctant to put up paywalls for their news content because they know all too well what the outcome will be if the other doesn’t. Consequently the two news’ organisations are now looking at merging.
Sometimes free is not even enough. This in the case where you are asked to register before taking the next step. From my own perspective I am often reluctant to register because of the fear of receiving more unwanted material as a consequence.
One of the reasons why the switch from Sky TV to Coliseum for golf coverage proved unpopular was that most of us struggle with new technology.
Once again, from my perspective, to watch golf on television via Coliseum, was very fiddly. I had to plug in a cord into the TV from my computer, remember which plugs plug into which holes, switch the TV to HDM with the television hand control, log into the Coliseum website and select the appropriate coverage.
Don’t get me wrong. Once it was up and running it was excellent.
But I found myself watching less and less golf because I couldn’t be bothered going through the rigmarole. In fact I can’t even remember the last time I watched golf on television via Coliseum.
But guess what? The very day golf returned to Sky TV I found myself watching it again. Normal transmission, so to speak, had resumed.
The return of golf to Sky TV also reinforces another factor for me — golf is good for viewership figures.
It’s also good for filling the many hours available to subscriber television. Live golf for four hours will always be 1000 times more popular than a succession of half-hour packages of other sports.
It’s also a reminder that golf is important to subscriber television just as subscriber television is important to golf.