The 2023 Ryder Cup, golf’s iconic biennial men’s competition between Team Europe and Team US, has become the most-watched edition for UK rightsholder Sky, with 3.7 million tuning into the pay-TV broadcaster's coverage over the three-day tournament.
Sky said across the three days (September 29 to October 1), there was an average of 785,000 viewers – a 38% increase on the previous 2021 edition and 25% on 2018. The broadcaster also noted a 14% rise from 2021 in under-35s tuning in to watch Team Europe beat Team USA, highlighting the sport's growing appeal to younger fans.
The event also proved popular online, with over 10 million views of editorial content and over 2 million video views across the broadcaster’s website and app. To date, there have been over 18 million video views on Sky Sports’ Ryder Cup content, with 9.1 million video views and 22.9 impressions on X (formerly known as Twitter), respectively.
The viewership figures come after the women’s 2023 Solheim Cup also became the most-watched edition on Sky Sports, securing a peak viewership of 743,000 in the tournament’s final day as Team Europe retained the trophy.
Jason Wessley, director of golf for Sky Sports, said: “This past weekend rounds off a superb period where we’ve seen record numbers across both the Ryder and Solheim Cups. It’s a testament to the team we have when it comes to producing unparalleled content and commentary.
“Looking ahead, we know there’s a real opportunity when it comes to engaging with new fans as we see younger generations coming to the sport, as well as the ongoing role we have in growing the women’s game through telling the stories of the world’s best female athletes.”
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Sky extended its rights deal to cover the Ryder Cup until 2025 last year on its dedicated Sky Sports Ryder Cup channel. The next edition is set to take place in New York.
At the same time, Sky extended its deal for the top-tier European Tour (now called the DP World Tour for sponsorship reasons) until the end of 2024.
Sky, meanwhile, also holds rights to multiple other top-tier golf tournaments and tours, and in September last year extended its rights deals to show women’s golf’s two top-tier series, the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour (LET), for a further three years.
Both deals were set to expire at the end of 2021 but will now run through until 2024.
The renewals mean Sky Sports will continue to show all five of women’s golf’s major tournaments – the Women’s PGA Championship, the Evian Championship, ANA Inspiration, the US Women’s Open, and the AIG Women’s Open.
Sky first held LPGA rights in 2014, while its relationship with the LET stretches back to 2009.