The golfing world may be getting some lustre again with the recent victory of Rory Mcllroy in the US Open but with a 4.5 percent national rating for NBC during its coverage Sunday, it seems that the tournament still needs some suspense and excitement to bring back the viewers.
Last Sunday’s rating tied with the 1988 rating where the US Open had the lowest rating for Sunday television coverage. Apparently, Mcllroy’s lopsided win failed to bring in the numbers, in contrast to the record 14.1 percent viewership in 1997 when Tiger Woods won his first victory in the Masters.
The television deals of PGA are set to expire next year so analogous rating for the freakish win of Mcllroy would give NBC an edge in the next round of negotiations.
A lot of people, especially NBC executives, were banking on the dream scenario brought about by Mcllroy’s romp in the US Open and the supposedly face off with Woods who backed out from the US Open due to a knee injury.
The Saturday rating obtained by NBC however suggestion that Mcllroy is not yet seen by the viewers as the next Woods. NBC’s 3.6 percent overnight rating was a 20 percent decrease from last year’s coverage.
ESPN got a 0.8 percent rating for its midday coverage which is a 33 percent decrease from last year’s figures. It got a 1 percent rating for its late-afternoon coverage which was a 44 percent decrease compared to last year.
Experts however claim that the coverage was not comparable since the US Open was played on the West Coast last year which meant later and better time slots.
NBC also did not have much to work on besides Mcllroy considering that the course itself did not create much drama.
“At the U.S. Open, I don’t think I’ve seen greens this soft for four straight days,” lead analyst Johnny Miller said — and there weren’t many famous Americans onscreen. Said Miller, “I feel like I’m watching a European Tour event.”
NBC producer Tommy Roy said “We will certainly look for opportunities to do it again.”