SBD/August 11, 2014/Media

Big Names, Primetime Help CBS To Best PGA Championship Sunday Overnight In Five Years

Yesterday's figure is the best for a Sunday round at the PGA Championship since ’09
A star-studded leaderboard and two hours worth of primetime exposure helped CBS earns its best overnight rating for the final round of the PGA Championship in five years. The net earned a 6.0 rating yesterday from 3:00-9:00pm ET, which saw Rory McIlroy hold off Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson. That figure is the best for a Sunday round at the PGA Championship since ’09, when CBS drew a 7.5 overnight for Y.E. Yang’s three-shot win over Tiger Woods. Yesterday’s final round also is up 36% from last year, which saw Jason Dufner win by two strokes over Jim Furyk. The 6.0 rating is up 54% from ’12, when McIlroy won the event for the first time by eight strokes. Yesterday’s telecast peaked at a 9.2 rating from 8:00-8:30pm. CBS earned a 3.2 overnight for Saturday’s coverage from 2:00-7:15pm, which also marks the best third-round rating in five years. That figure is up 7% from last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). Newsday's Neil Best wrote of the 9.2 figure for the penultimate half-hour, "That's a big number for non-Tiger golf" (TWITTER.com, 8/11).

BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA? GOLF.com's weekly roundtable discussed the event, with Golf magazine's Josh Sens saying this was "by far the most entertaining Tiger-era major I’ve watched that didn’t feature Tiger. But none of those guys is ever going to move the needle like Tiger." Golf.com's Eamon Lynch added, "It postpones the 'sky is falling' chatter, but only until everyone remembers that Woods may not tee it up again this year. The only outcome that would have altered that narrative was a Fowler victory. I think he's the only potential game-changer out there in terms of boosting the profile of the sport among otherwise disinterested kids." Golf magazine's Cameron Morfit: "This PGA gave us proof positive that golf can thrive and keep us glued to our seats in a post-Tiger world." SI's Jeff Ritter added, "It proved that the game still has magnetic stars and the capacity to produce dramatic finishes. ... But did it translate to greater TV ratings and mainstream interest? That's the source of all the hand-wringing" (GOLF.com, 8/11). 

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes CBS and TNT’s coverage several times "replaced live (and plausibly live) coverage with full-screen, computerized graphics displaying scores of blue dots showing where all players’ drives or approach shots finished." Mushnick: "Even given time to study such graphics, so what? How does this help or enlighten us? ... Actually, it tells us this: 'Look what we can do with our computer!' Very nice. Now show the golf" (N.Y. POST, 8/11).

CODE BREAKER: GOLF WEEK's Nick Masuda wrote McIlroy during the 100-minute rain delay "was nice enough to give CBS some face time in the lunch room," but he also accidentally "gave the world a look at his cell-phone passcode." Twitter started "buzzing with the code, which led the World No. 1 to quickly change it, taking to his Twitter account." He wrote, "Passcode changed... Now time to play some golf!" (GOLFWEEK.com, 8/10).
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