Here's a sign of the times. For the first time since it started in 1999, the Cox Classic golf tournament in Omaha won't be on Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) owned Golf Channel this year, which, even though they're not saying it, has to have the Cox folks a little teed off at their cable brethren.
The blackout is the result of a combination of non-Cox-related issues that include a 12 percent dip in last year's tournament sponsorship dollars and a nearly 50 percent drop in TV ratings because the weekend rounds were tape delayed. The biggest mitigating factor is cost. Last year The Golf Channel charged the tournament $240,000 for coverage (tape delayed as it was). This year it wanted $280,000 and the tournament, already having financial problems, declined.
"It's a decision that hurts," tournament director Chad Mardesen told the Omaha World-Herald. "It's like downsizing your house or selling your car. You know you have to do it, but it's not a decision that you enjoy making."
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