VIDEOS ON PGA SITE DRAW RECORD VIEWERS
Demonstrating that webcasts are increasingly challenging similar cable-TV fare, PGA.com attracted 1.7 million unique visitors to its coverage of the 2009 PGA Championship Sunday. The tournament saw South Korea's Y.E. Yang come from behind to beat Tiger Woods, who had led during most of the competition. The Turner Sports-managed website provided running updates and video highlights, both live and recorded (available on demand). Over the course of the four-day tournament, the PGA website averaged 1.4 million unique visitors per day -- nearly twice the number who logged on to the site a year ago. (However, analysts pointed out that last year the tournament occurred during the Summer Olympics.) CBS, which telecast the contest, saw its ratings climb 150 percent above last year. The 12.59 million viewers who tuned in at 7:00 p.m. represented the largest audience for any primetime program Sunday night
NEWSPAPER REJECTS AD CRITICAL OF ITS CABLE OWNER
Newsday has turned down an ad by The Tennis Channel criticizing the newspaper's parent, Cablevision, for refusing to carry the channel and thereby denying its "round-the-clock coverage" of the U.S. Open to viewers in New York, the area that Cablevision serves. The ad appeared in other newspapers in the New York area. "Not this one, though," wrote Neil Best, sports media columnist for Newsday. Best also quoted from a statement from the newspaper: "The Tennis channel ads are nasty, unfair and intentionally misleading, and we don't think anyone should carry them." Cablevision contends that it is willing to carry The Tennis Channel as part of its sports package for an additional charge. But the channel wants the cable company to make it available to everyone subscribing to basic cable (for about 15 cents per subscriber per month). Bob Steele, who teaches journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute, told the New York Times, "There are times when a newspaper says no to an ad because they find it objectionable on taste grounds, or find it filled with hatred for a particular group of people. But this one doesn't measure up in terms of protection because they're protecting themselves." But former Newsday editor Howard Schneider, now dean of the journalism school at Stony Brook University, told the newspaper, "It's not a felony to protect your economic self-interest unless it influences your news coverage."
REPORT: ABDUL NEGOTIATING A RETURN TO AMERICAN IDOL
Rumors that Paula Abdul would appear as a contestant on next season's Dancing With the Stars on ABC were snuffed out Monday when the show issued the lineup of contestants -- sans Abdul. However, MSNBC.com's "Scoop" column indicated that one of the reasons she won't be appearing is that she is now involved in "intense" negotiations with Fox for her return to American Idol. "Paula isn't lowering her price in any meaningful way," the column said, citing several people close to the talks. (She reportedly had been seeking a deal worth $10 million per year and had been offered half that amount.) The sources said that a compromise is likely to be worked out that would bring Abdul back to the Idol for the live shows only. "This will allow the original offer made by the show to stand, but Abdul would have a shorter time commitment," the column said.
CBS WINS MONDAY NIGHT -- WITH RERUNS
Reruns of CBS's Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory managed to score ratings well above anything else airing Monday night, according to Nielsen Media Research. Men drew 8.7 million viewers at 9:00 p.m., while Theory attracted 8.2 million at 9:30 p.m. A fresh edition of ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire scored decent ratings at 8:00 p.m. with 7 million viewers, a tad above what it has averaged since it returned to the air for a two week run last week. (Appearing on CNN's Larry King Live show Monday, Millionaire host Regis Philbin acknowledged that the current series represents "a rougher go" than the original one did 10 years ago. "First of all, the show isn't going to surprise anybody," Philbin said, "but it's a fun show for me to do. And I think for people to see, too. I think it's something different in primetime, and, Larry, between us, primetime needs a lot of help.")