Woods factor at play as ratings spike for US PGA Championship
CBS, the US national television network, enjoyed a 69-per-cent increase in its rating for the final round of golf’s US PGA Championship as Tiger Woods came close to winning his first major in 10 years.
CBS drew a rating of 6.1 and a share of 14 per cent for its live coverage of Sunday’s play at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri, as US player Brooks Koepka (pictured) triumphed by two shots from countryman Woods to land his third major, and second this year, after the US Open.
The figure compares with the 3.6 rating and 8-per-cent share for last year’s US PGA Championship won by USA’s Justin Thomas.
This year’s final round was the most-watched since 2009 when Y.E. Yang of South Korea beat Woods into second place.
Woods’ presence on the leaderboard also helped boost the TV audience for Saturday’s third round, with CBS posting a rating of 3.7 and share of 9 per cent, up from a 2.4 rating and 6-per-cent share last year.
Woods won the most recent of his 14 majors at the 2008 US Open, but remains the biggest draw in golf.
Meanwhile, Eleven Sports, the international pay-TV broadcaster, experienced further technical problems with its live online coverage of the final round of the US PGA Championship in the UK with the result that some viewers missed Koepka’s winning putt.
Eleven Sports claimed that only “a small minority" of viewers were affected, thought to be those watching on desktop and laptop computers rather than tablets and smartphones.
On Thursday, live streaming of the first round on the Eleven Sports Facebook page was hit by pauses and buffering issues although these were resolved within two hours of the start of the broadcast.
In a statement yesterday, the broadcaster said: “After delivering almost 40 hours of live coverage of the Championship, we are aware of a technical issue which briefly affected a small minority of customers at the end of the final round. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and we are working to ensure these issues do not occur in future.”
Eleven Sports used its exclusive coverage of the US PGA Championship to launch its UK service, and there was free live streaming of the first two rounds on Facebook, while fans could watch the whole tournament on the broadcaster’s website by signing up to a seven-day free trial.
Eleven Sports is currently only available on elevensports.co.uk, plus mobile and tablet apps (and selected streaming on Facebook) as carriage negotiations continue with the Sky, BT and Virgin TV platforms. The broadcaster has lodged applications with Ofcom, the UK media regulator, for two cable and satellite channels.