The Walt Disney Company’s (DIS) sports channel ESPN has devised a new way to improve its ratings. Ahead of the upcoming British Open, the channel has announced an exclusive broadcast of Tiger Woods on ESPN3, the online service provider of ESPN.
ESPN3 will live-stream Tiger Woods’ entire round each day he plays. The British Open will mark Woods’ start to the season as his back surgery kept him away from the Masters and the U.S. Open Championships.
This experiment comes after drastic fall in the weekend ratings for the Masters and the U.S. Open Championships as legendary golfers Woods and Phil Mickelson were missing in action earlier this year. Though Woods has hit a rough patch, he still has a significant impact on the viewers and ESPN is looking for a chance to utilize this opportunity to lift the falling ratings.
It is a no-brainer that if the 'Tiger Woods Only' channel experiment succeeds, ESPN will expand it across other sports and it might become a powerful revenue generating tool. For now, it remains a wait and see story.
The British Open will be aired live on ESPN for all the four rounds from Jul 17-Jul 20. Played at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, this will be the 143rd edition of the golf championship.
ESPN, which competes with Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc’s. (FOXA) FOX Sports 1 and CBS Corp.’s (CBS) CBS Sports Network, remains one the most watched sports channels in the world. The channel recently broadcasted the world’s premier sporting event, FIFA World Cup 2014 that witnessed record viewership across the globe including United States which is not counted among the football crazy nations.
Currently, Disney is Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Other media stocks consideration include Pearson plc (PSO), which sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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