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The Loop

The steep cost of seeing Tiger in Australia

April 26, 2009

When Tiger Woods agreed to play in the Australian Masters in November, it wasn't a universally popular decision down under, inasmuch as half his $3 million appearance fee would be paid with taxpayer money.

Now, it seems, that even for $1.5 million, the taxpayers probably won't be able to watch Woods play -- even on television. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that IMG is asking $3 million for broadcast rights, and each of the three commercial networks that could air it on free television say the price is too steep. As of now, it will likely go to a pay TV entity, the newspaper is reporting.

"There's no doubt Tiger is a superstar but they are trying to sell the deal to cover the tournament for the next three years," Channel Nine head David Gyngell said. "Tiger is only signed up for the first year. If we could have done a one-year deal it would be a different story.

"None of the stations have got the sort of money IMG is asking for. It would be good value with Tiger this November, but golf is hard work for advertising revenue.''

-- John Strege