The 2023 Ryder Cup, golf’s iconic biennial men’s competition between Team Europe and Team US, has seen its US viewership decrease due to broadcast time and a poor performance by the US team.
US media giant NBCUniversal’s coverage had 1.41 million average viewers on Saturday and 1.32 million viewers on Sunday, which is significantly less than the 2.12 million and 2.47 million it had respectively in 2018.
For the 2023 edition, much of NBC Sports’ coverage was conducted in the overnight and early morning hours. Additionally, the US team’s performance had a negative impact, trailing from the beginning of day one and losing the trophy by a score of 16.5 to 11.5.
However the 2023 Ryder Cup became 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.
Earlier this year, NBCUniversal did however secure the highest coverage numbers for its airing of the iconic annual US Open golf tournament since 2019.
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Across 47 hours of live event coverage from the 2023 edition, there was an average Total Audience Delivery (TAD) figure – combined live-plus-same day viewership across different platforms – of 3.4 million viewers, the highest mark in four years and up 27% from the 2022 US Open.