Discover more from Sportscaster Dan's Newsletter
Trouble in Gary Player’s world?
Family rift may have sparked son’s Augusta banishment
Good morning, all. I hope your week is going well!
While watching the Masters, it was great to witness the replay of the ceremonial first ball to start the tournament. There were Lee Elder, the first African American to compete in the tournament, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Who knew there was controversy surrounding this ceremony, involving Player? Or that there is a rift in the three-time Masters winner’s family?
As Elder is being saluted by tournament chairman Fred Ridley, Wayne Player, Gary’s son, can be seen holding up a sleeve of Gary Player’s golf balls, an effort to promote the Player brand. That led to Wayne’s brother Marc tweeting that his brother’s effort to promote golf balls, during the ceremony, was an “embarrassment” and that he was “correctly” banished from Augusta National.
Wayne Player has issued an apology, as reported by Golf Digest, but apparently there is no love lost between Wayne and his brother, Marc, who once sued his father over naming rights and lost. Wayne Player also once served time in jail, when a check he issued to rent a home near Augusta bounced.
Gary Player is 85 years old and keeps himself in remarkable condition with a grueling workout regimen that would tire someone half his age. Still, like all of us, his clock is ticking. Here is hoping that he and his sons, (Player has six children) can settle their differences before the clock strikes midnight.
Masters ratings increase
Sunday’s final round of the Masters produced increased ratings, as 9.45 million viewers tuned in to the coverage on CBS. That is a 69% increase in viewers over final round coverage for last year’s tournament, delayed until November because of COVID-19. But, yes there is always a but. A deeper dive into the numbers by Sports Media Watch shows mixed results.
For the record, in 2019, when the Masters was staged during its usual time in April, final round coverage drew 10.81 million viewers, when Tiger Woods won the tournament.
Remembering Jackie Robinson
Tomorrow will be Jackie Robinson Day throughout all of Major League Baseball. The player who broke MLB’s color barrier in 1947 on this date, is honored each season on April 15. All players will wear Robinson’s uniform number 42, during games played on Thursday.
MLB’s discriminatory policy cost Negro League stars, such as Buck Leonard, a chance to play in the big leagues. While broadcasting baseball in the Carolina League in 1983, I had the chance to interview Leonard, who played for the Homestead Grays and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with the great Josh Gibson in 1972. Click here to listen to that interview.
You could have fooled me
Ratings on the New York Yankees regional sports network YES are up substantially, according to Nielsen’s numbers. The first six Yankees telecasts averaged 391,000 viewers and the Opening Day game on April 1 found 543,000 viewers tuned to YES. Those are the best opening week numbers for the network in nine years.
My reaction? Is that it? I would have guessed upper six figures or even a million viewers would regularly watch a Yankees game. The YES network is pumped into millions of homes, including Connecticut, upstate New York and Rhode Island. The telecasts are also available via satellite. (Streaming numbers are not counted here.) And that’s the number? 391,000?
It doesn’t take a business major to figure out why cable companies constantly fight proposals advocating for subscriptions by the channel. Such a blueprint would sink many a regional sports network. Then again, that blueprint would sink the entire system, sans sports. Just saying.
Well that’s it for today. Continue to have a great week!