Many people seem to think that a decline in sports ratings are coming from their perceived “wokeness.” When declining ratings in the NBA or NFL come up, it is not rare to hear someone chime in with some verson of the phrase, “Get woke, go broke.” That is to say that the average viewer would like to see less social statements in their entertainment. Looking at the Masters ratings we see that this may not be true.
The Masters Ratings are Down
Many sports fans may consider golf as one of the most racially homogeneous and right-leaning sports in America. For example, several members of the PGA tour have played rounds of golf with President Trump. Jack Nicklaus, a ceremonial starter at this year’s Masters Tournament is a vocal supporter of the sitting president and his reelection. As far as racial homogeny, there are only four African-Americans in the PGA, according to Golf Week.
While PGA tour commissioner Jay Monahan released a statement in May about adding more diversity to the tour and some players showed nominal support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, the PGA couldn’t be considered “woke.” Despite that, the ratings for this year’s Masters were incredibly low. In fact, this year’s Masters was the lowest rated since 1957. It was also the least watched since viewership started being recorded in 1995.
It’s likely safe to assume that social stances did not affect the Masters ratings.
What is Causing the Decline in Sports Ratings?
There are several theories as to what is causing a decline in viewership for televised sports. Many experts are waving off the idea of displays of social stances tanking the ratings. What do they think it is? The same thing that has upended everything else this year – the pandemic.
COVID-19 has turned the entire world upside down. From concerts and conventions to sporting events, it seems like everything is either postponed or canceled. A number of experts believe that this shift in scheduling is the reason that ratings for televised sports is down. People are used to watching the NBA finals during the summer, NFL in the fall, the Masters in the spring, and so on.
This year, most major sports were competing for airtime. Not only were they up against sports that aren’t usually competition, they were also competing against an increasingly heated news cycle. This overabundance of options means that the available audience for each sport was smaller.
The lack of fans in the stands could also be contributing to a dip in ratings. When there is no crowd cheering in the stands, the games seem less impressive to most viewers. The reality of the situation is that there is singular cause of the dip in televised sports ratings. There are a number of factors in play.
On the Bright Side
Experts agree that 2020 is a one-off. The chaos of the pandemic and the heated presidential race will hopefully subside in the coming year. They warn against comparing this year to any before it or next year to this one. Despite dismal ratings this year, televised sports aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.