The Keith Mitchell video lives.
Thanks to Keith Mitchell.
Mitchell, of course, started it all, and there’s a full-circle feel here. In rapid order on Friday at the Players Championship, Mitchell hit his tee shot on the par-4 5th at TPC Sawgrass, it sliced right and into the water, he thumped his driver into the turf, the bad-weather horn sounded signaling the postponement of the second round — and the Golfers Journal’s Casey Bannon recorded it all off the PGA Tour Live broadcast and shared it to the masses over Twitter. And folks were engaged — the clip had attracted 3.7 million views.
But then it was gone. Bannon’s tweet now carries only this note: “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.” And folks were enraged.
But then the video was back. On Sunday, Mitchell tweeted it himself. He added this note:
“Personal Foul, *roughing the media rights* (apparently that’s why it was taken down, I was just informed) 250 yard penalty, repeat 3rd shot from point in which ball last crossed planet earth!”
Thirty-two words are doing a lot of work there. Let’s start with “roughing the media rights.” GOLF’s James Colgan masterfully broke down the subject last February — in a story appropriately headlined “What are the PGA Tour’s media rights? And how do they work?” — and for the purposes of this story, we’ll repost these two paragraphs:
“Today, the Tour generates money from domestic and international television deals (NBC/CBS and Sky Sports, respectively), domestic and international streaming deals (ESPN+ and Discovery). The Tour also owns the rights to all its digital and archival footage, which generate licensing fees and other small pieces of revenue. Those agreements generate close to half of the Tour’s annual revenue, per documents reviewed by GOLF.com.
“Central to the value of every media rights deal the Tour signs is its standing as the sole ‘owner’ of the content created. This is why the PGA Tour requires players sign away their media rights at the beginning of every season and why the Tour is so stingy about creators posting non-sanctioned videos on social media and elsewhere.”
It appears then Mitchell had a conversation, and he reposted it, with a bit of a jab. Then he poked fun of himself.
To recap his meltdown, as shown in the 32-second video (which GOLF’s Kevin Cunningham summarized here):
— Mitchell hit.
— His ball soared right and toward the water.
— Before his ball reached its apex, Mitchell slammed his driver into the tee box.
— From the right side of the tee box, Mitchell’s caddie, John Limanti, back-pedaled to the left to see where the ball was going to cross into the water.
— The inclement-weather horn was sounded.
— Mitchell’s ball splashed down.
— Mitchell asked Limanti if it covered the water. “It did not,” he said. Mitchell asked if it went in the water. “Yes,” Limanti said.
— Mitchell walked to the right.
And millions watched it all. And, it appears, millions will be able to watch it again.