NBC's Overnight For Final Round Of The Players Flat Compared To '11
NBC earned a 3.4 overnight Nielsen rating for the final round of The Players yesterday, which saw Matt Kuchar win the PGA Tour event by two strokes. That figure is flat compared to last year, when K.J. Choi defeated David Toms in a playoff, and up from a 3.3 overnight in ’10, when Tim Clark won. NBC also earned a 2.5 overnight for coverage of the third round on Saturday, which was up 56% from a 1.6 rating last year. Meanwhile, Golf Channel averaged 1.8 million viewers for coverage of the second round on Friday, which included the majority of Tiger Woods' round. That marks the net’s best early-round audience ever for the event and is up 86% from last year (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes NBC's coverage of the tournament yesterday "was what TV golf might have to grapple with for awhile: Selling the sport without getting much help from star power." Neither Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson were in contention, but the net "at least had Rickie Fowler ... around to hype." Fowler went on to finish in a four-way tie for second. Meanwhile, NBC "had some sideshow" in Kevin Na's consistent hitches in his swing (USA TODAY, 5/14). In Tampa, Tom Jones writes NBC “again gets the nod for best sporting event coverage of the weekend” for The Players. Jones: "NBC can just hand Johnny Miller a microphone, let him talk and you have the best golf coverage on TV, as far as I'm concerned” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 5/14).
ISLAND LIFE FOR ME: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's John Paul Newport wrote NBC and Golf Channel “added a few tricks to their coverage” with the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass in mind. The networks used “Actioncam,” a sliding camera “suspended from a cable above the lake to monitor the players' ashen-faced plank-walks from the 16th green over to the 17th tee.” Also, a new "remote-control mini-helicopter is providing flyover coverage” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/13).