PGA Championship Hits Five-Year High; Top Golf Event Since The Masters

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In a year when most golf tournaments — especially majors — have suffered declines, the PGA Championship bucked the trend.

Final round coverage of the PGA Championship earned a 5.3 final rating and 8.2 million viewers on CBS, up 36% in ratings and 49% in viewership from last year (3.9, 5.5M) and up 56% and 69%, respectively, from coverage opposite the Olympics in 2012 (3.4, 4.9M).

Sunday’s coverage ranks as the highest rated and most-viewed PGA Championship telecast since 2009, when Tiger Woods finished in second place (6.6, 10.1M). Woods’ most recent win at the event — 2007 — earned a 6.2 and 9.2 million, not much higher than this year.

The telecast also finished well ahead of Rory McIlroy‘s previous major victories. His win at the 2011 U.S. Open earned a 4.5 and 7.4 million, followed by the previously mentioned 3.4 and 4.9 million for the 2012 PGA Championship and a 2.3 and 3.3 million for the recent British Open.

For the first time since 2009, the PGA Championship earned the top non-Masters golf audience of the season. The U.S. Open — which usually holds that honor — earned a record-low 3.0 rating and 4.6 million viewers this year.

It should be pointed out that despite the strong performance, Sunday’s 5.3 rating still ranks only 17th out of the past 33 final round PGA Championship telecasts (dates back to 1982). Each of the victories by Tiger Woods (1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007) and Phil Mickelson (2005) had a higher rating.

Saturday’s third round action drew a 3.0 and 4.3 million viewers, up 15% in ratings and viewership from last year (2.6, 3.7M), up 50% and 52%, respectively, from 2012 (2.0, 2.8M), and the top third round telecast since 2009 (4.3, 6.2M).

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(Wknd. numbers from Sports Business Daily)

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