August 30, 2002

Masters will be televised commercial-free.: Responding to pressure from the National Council of Women's Organizations to allow female membership at the Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters have chosen to save their sponsors the aggro and foot the bill themselves. According to the article, Augusta denies that they are "exclusionary," but this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article quotes club chairman Hootie Johnson as saying: "There may come a day when women will be invited to join our club, but that decision must be ours."

posted by worldcup2002 to golf at 05:27 PM - 7 comments

Now when the heck am I gonna pee? The occasional one-minute breaks (four per hour) were already too short to reach my fridge or the toilet, now I'll need to buy a mini-fridge and use a catheter or really long hose. Seriously, though, this is great news for golf fans, as well as a shrewd tactical move by Hootie & the Blowhards to negate one aspect of the NCWO's attack, weak as it is. Too-shay, Mr. Johnson.

posted by msacheson at 05:32 PM on August 30, 2002

The golf club is doing what too many others have failed to do: stand up for the freedom of association. According to the story, Augusta doesn't have an explicit rule barring women, but we know there's a wink and a nod against it. But so what? Are rights being violated by not including women in the membership? No. If you don't like Augusta's view, then don't watch the Masters.

posted by shackbar at 10:15 PM on August 30, 2002

I don't think this negates the attack at all; it gives the NCWO more publicity and lets them know the threat to protest the sponsors is working. Next year, it will be even more of a hot-button issue to sponsor the Masters. What I don't get is how CBS and the local CBS affiliates make money on a commercial-free telecast.

posted by rcade at 05:00 AM on August 31, 2002

This story says that broadcasting the Masters is more about prestige than money for CBS. NCWO's response to Augusta National's commercial-free telecast move is the focus of this latest story. With no corporate sponsors to target, the women's group will lean on CBS now. NCWO chairwoman Martha Burk says that ''cameras will have something to look at." Now, I have a discrimination question for you, Martha: can I, a man, join or maybe even hold a position in the NCWO? Or is your group against hiring/accepting men?

posted by msacheson at 07:08 PM on August 31, 2002

On top of the prestige element of showing the Masters on CBS, comes the added bonus of non-commercial promos for other shows on the network. While you won't see full 30 second spots for gear, cars or drinks, you will see plenty of ads for Everybody Loves Raymond and CSI. For those that oppose the policy, don't watch the Masters and don't watch CBS... Quite simple really.

posted by 86 at 10:00 AM on September 02, 2002

Mixed reaction on Hootie: In an environment where college (can you say Oregon Ducks?) and even high school programs routinely whore themselves out, it is refreshing to see a professional sports entity not do so... I also agree that you shouldn't watch the Masters, and by connection CBS, if you don't like Augusta National. At the same time, I don't have a problem with what the NWCO is doing. There's something to be said for freedom of association, but people do object to exclusionary policies, particularly those based on race, gender or whatever. And companies that sponsor the Masters are accountable to those people, if they want their money. Is there any reason why Hootie let it to come to this? Is it, regardless of the situation, always a gun to your head when someone suggests a change? And when the NWCO first approached him about admitting a female, did he at least think about it -- as in, "we might be overdue for this" -- or did he produce the knee-jerk reaction that he wasn't going to be pressured? The resistance is pretty strange when Augusta National allows women to use the club's facilities already, so long as they're accompanied by a member.

posted by jackhererra at 03:41 PM on September 02, 2002

From what I've read, CBS is getting roughly 1.5 million for it from Augusta, which pretty much covers the production costs. (source, written in crayon). So this is probably the best outcome for NWCO-- The Masters is still televised, no one really makes any money off of it, and people are aware of the issue.

posted by tj at 11:46 AM on September 04, 2002

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