Overnight ratings for the final round of the U.S. Open were up big from last year, though the increase was not as large as in the first three rounds.
Final round coverage of the U.S. Open drew a 6.6 overnight rating on NBC Sunday evening, up 29% from last year (5.1), but down 4% from 2010 (6.9). Last year’s final round ended at 7:45 PM ET, and the 2010 final round ended at 9:15 PM ET.
The 6.6 ranks near the middle of the pack for the U.S. Open over the past decade, trailing Tiger Woods‘ victories in 2002 (9.3) and 2008 (8.5), his second-place finish in 2007 (7.0), and the aforementioned 2010 final round (6.9). Like this year’s tournament, the 2008 and 2010 editions concluded well after 8 PM ET on the East Coast.
Keep in mind the final two and 1/2 hours of Sunday’s final round aired directly opposite Game 3 of the NBA Finals on ABC (10.4). Previous primetime finishes avoided direct competition with the NBA.
Combined, the NBA Finals and Tiger Woods‘ fade down the stretch helped slow the momentum for the U.S. Open. Prior to Sunday’s 29% increase, overnight ratings on NBC had risen 50% for Thursday’s first round, 64% for Friday’s second round, and 53% for Saturday’s third round.
(Sunday’s overnight from USA Today)