U.S. Open Golf final round viewing down 43% vs last open played on West Coast

 

Sunday’s coverage on Fox averaged 6.7 million viewers. That was down from 9.6 million when the U.S. Open was last played on the West Coast in 2012, which allows for the final holes to be played in prime time in much of the country. 

Via AP

Update: here’s the press release from Fox Sports, it only notes the average viewership in primetime for the final round (the number above is for the full day’s coverage):

11.2 MILLION VIEWERS WITNESS DRAMATIC CONCLUSION

OF 115th U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP 

Sunday’s Final Round posts +46% Increase Over 2014;

 Four-Round Viewership on FOX & FOX Sports 1 Sees +40% Boost

University Place, Wash. – Capping off what was a memorable week in the Pacific Northwest, Sunday’s final round of the 115th U.S. Open Championship reached its crescendo at the 18th and final hole. Televised for the first time in its entirety by FOX Sports, the event’s thrilling finish saw 21-year old Jordan Spieth claim his second-consecutive major championship victory in dramatic fashion, witnessed by 11.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen.             

The final round featured a crowded leaderboard with a number of players narrowly off the pace and Sunday’s action posted a 4.2 household rating, averaging 6.7 million viewers on FOX broadcast network, a +46% increase over the U.S. Open’s final round in 2014 (4.6 million). The 4.2 rating versus 2014’s 3.0 marked the largest year-over-year gain for the final round since 1991-1992 (4.7/15 to 7.0/19). 

Four-day coverage of the 115th U.S. Open Championship averaged a combined 3.5 million viewers each day across FOX and FOX Sports 1, a +40% increase over last year’s combined average on ESPN and NBC (2.5 million viewers). According to a custom analysis provided by Nielsen, the almost 40 hours of coverage of the 2015 U.S. Open reached a total of 34.9 million viewers. 

Final Round Highlights:

       Sunday’s final-round broadcast peaked with 11.2 million viewers from 10:00–10:30 PM ET as audiences watched Spieth birdie the 18th hole and runner-up Dustin Johnson finish in the final group with a disappointing three-putt to finish one shot back.  

       The primetime portion of Sunday’s telecast averaged a 5.3 rating and 8.7 million viewers from 7:00-10:46 PM ET, winning the night among the broadcast networks and giving FOX its most-watched Sunday night in primetime since Jan. 4 (NFC Wild Card Playoffs). 

       In comparison to 2014’s final round, the final round broadcast showed significant ratings jumps across multiple key demographics, including: men 18-34, +63% (1.3 vs. 0.8) and men 18-49, +46%, (1.9 vs. 1.3). 

       Top five markets for Sunday’s final-round coverage: Seattle (11.4), Jacksonville (6.8), Columbus (6.7), Louisville (6.6) and Las Vegas (6.5). 

Four Round Highlights:

       FOX broadcast network coverage averaged 4.8 million viewers over the U.S. Open’s four days, a +41% increase over NBC’s average audience in 2014 (3.5 million viewers). 

       In total, FOX and FOX Sports 1 combined to air just under 40 hours of live coverage of the U.S. Open, the most in the championship’s extensive history. The total of nearly 40 hours was more than five hours more than had ever previously been broadcast for the event and eight hours more than the average of the last 10 U.S. Opens. 

       The expanded coverage had a positive impact on total minutes of viewing.  Compared to last year, for example, this year’s U.S. Open was up an impressive +40% on average audience (3.5 million watching any given minute vs. 2.5 million last year), but up by +63% in total minutes viewed (8.4 billion minutes to 5.2 billion last year). 

Digital Highlights:

       Sunday’s final round was the second most-watched event ever on FOX Sports Go.

Through FOX Sports GO, USOpen.com and the U.S. Open official app, total live streams started were up +354% (5.9 million vs. 1.3 million) over 2014.  Additionally, total streamed minutes reached 158 million, eclipsing the U.S. Open’s previous high of 130 million minutes in 2012.

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