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Volume 24 No. 179
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Audience Analysis: PGA Championship Final Round Lowest Since '12; Yanks-Sox Up Big

CBS finished with 4.91 million viewers for the final round of the PGA Championship, marking the least-viewed Sunday for the major since ’12, when it went up against the London Games. The only other PGA final round in the past decade to draw fewer viewers was in '08, which also was played opposite the Olympics. Justin Thomas’ two-shot win was down 7% from 5.29 million viewers last year, when Jimmy Walker beat Jason Day by one stroke. Last year’s event was held in July to avoid competing with the Rio Games. Adversely affecting last weekend’s final round also were lower HUT levels on CBS, as well as sharp increases for cable news nets covering the events around the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL ROUND AUDIENCE TREND ON CBS
YEAR
VIEWERS (000)
WINNER (STROKES)
RUNNER(S) UP
'17
4,905
Justin Thomas (2)
Francesco Molinari, Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen
'16
5,285
Jimmy Walker (1)
Jason Day
'15
6,682
Jason Day (3)
Jordan Spieth
'14
8,238
Rory McIlroy (1)
Phil Mickelson
'13
5,536
Jason Dufner (2)
Jim Furyk
'12
4,895
Rory McIlroy (8)
David Lynn

CAUTION FLAG IS OUT: NBCSN averaged 3.16 million viewers for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race last Sunday afternoon. That is the lowest figure for Michigan Int’l Speedway’s second Cup race of the season since ’07, when it had to run on a Tuesday morning on ESPN2 due to rainouts. Excluding rainouts, last Sunday could be the lowest viewership for this particular race on record.

BEASTS OF THE EAST: Red Sox-Yankees on “Sunday Night Baseball” last weekend averaged 2.56 million viewers, marking the best “SNB” audience for the matchup since June 29, 2014 (2.62 million viewers). Sunday night’s game is the second-best “SNB” audience this season to date, behind only Cubs-Cardinals to start the season (3.62 million viewers).

OLD ENGLISH: The EPL season began last weekend, with NBC Sports’ six matches averaging 546,000 viewers, along with an average minute audience of 46,000 viewers on streaming platforms. Last season’s opening weekend aired up against the Rio Games. Last Saturday’s game on the NBC broadcast channel, Brighton-Manchester City, averaged 915,000 viewers. There was no opening weekend game on NBC last year, but Chelsea-Swansea City in ’15 drew around 1 million viewers. Opening matches last week also led to NBC Sports’ most-streamed EPL week on record.

The chart below lists final audience figures from select recent sports telecasts.

TELECAST
DATE
NET
TIME (ET)
RAT.
VIEWERS
(000)
PGA Championship: Final Round
8/13
CBS
2:00-7:15pm
3.2
4,905
PGA Championship: Third Round
8/12
CBS
2:00-7:45pm
2.2
3,211
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Series: Pure Michigan 400
8/13
NBCSN
3:25-6:12pm
2.0
3,162
MLB: Red Sox-Yankees
8/13
ESPN
8:00-11:50pm
1.7
2,563
NFL preseason: Steelers-Giants
8/11
NFL Net
7:00-10:04pm
n/a
1,870
NFL preseason: Broncos-Bears
8/10
NFL Net
8:00-11:13pm
n/a
1,827
NFL preseason: Seahawks-Chargers
8/13
NFL Net
8:00-11:09pm
1.1
1,775
NFL preseason: Cowboys-Rams
8/12
NFL Net
9:00pm-12:09am
1.1
1,733
"NASCAR Cup Series postrace"
8/13
NBCSN
6:12-7:00pm
n/a
1,573
NFL preseason: Texans-Panthers
8/9
NFL Net
7:30-10:50pm
n/a
1,522
NFL preseason: 49ers-Chiefs
8/11
NFL Net
10:04pm-12:17am
n/a
1,382
PGA Championship:
Final Round (early)
8/13
TNT
11:00am-2:00pm
0.9
1,363
IAAF World Track
& Field Championships
8/13
NBC
2:30-4:30pm
0.9
1,300
IAAF World Track
& Field Championships
8/12
NBC
3:00-5:15pm
0.8
1,239
PBR: Express Employment
Professionals Classic (Tulsa)
8/13
CBS
1:00-2:00pm
0.7
941
EPL: Brighton-Manchester City
8/12
NBC
12:30-2:30pm
0.6
915
Liga MX: Monterrey-Chivas
8/12
Univision
7:55-10:01pm
0.5
829
Red Bull Global Rallycross (taped)
8/12
NBC
5:00-6:00pm
0.5
754
Red Bull Global Rallycross (taped)
8/13
NBC
4:30-6:00pm
0.5
700
Liga MX: Necaxa-Leon
8/12
Univision
10:01pm-12:02am
0.4
593
ESPN Films: "Baltimore Boys"
8/13
ABC
3:00-4:30pm
0.4
517
ESPN Films: "Morningside 5"
8/12
ABC
3:30-5:00pm
0.3
401
"World of X Games: WSL Surfing"
8/12
ABC
2:30-3:30pm
0.3
393