Even by the standards of a lost season for professional golf, Sunday’s coverage of the U.S. Open did horribly.
Final round coverage of the U.S. Open drew a mere 3.3 overnight rating on NBC, down 46% from last year (6.1), down 50% from a primetime finish in 2012 (6.6), and the lowest overnight for the final round since at least 1996. The overnight is likely the lowest in U.S. Open history, though overnights prior to 1997 were not immediately available.
Sunday’s 3.3 overnight is the lowest for the final round of any major on broadcast television since the 2008 PGA Championship on CBS (3.0), which aired opposite the Olympic Games. Keep in mind the British Open has occasionally dipped lower on ESPN — though last year’s final round earned a 3.6.
The likely record-low for the U.S. Open comes on the heels of a poor performance for The Masters, which finished with its lowest two-day average since 1957.
Competition from the World Cup likely did not help NBC. The final round earned the same overnight as competing coverage of the France/Honduras match on ABC (3.3), and that does not factor in the Univision audience.
Saturday’s third round coverage drew a 2.6 overnight, down 41% from last year (4.4) and down 53% from 2012 (5.5).
(Wknd. overnights from Sports Business Daily)