Open Championship A Ratings Win For ESPN

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This past weekend’s broadcast of the Open Championship on ESPN and the ESPN family of networks set a new cable viewership record for the network.  The final round of play from 8am – 1:30pm brought the network a U.S. rating of 3.1 with a total of four million three hundred and seventy-two thousand viewers.  That number tied the network’s rating set in the final round of 2012’s Open Championship for a cable telecast of the event.  It surpassed last year’s total viewership of four million, seven hundred and seventy-two thousand viewers.  Sunday’s overall coverage of the Open Championship third round is the third highest-rated coverage for of all golf telecasts on cable.  It comes in third behind the 2008 U.S. Open playoff 2010 Masters first round.  The coverage in question was the match in which golf phenom Tiger Woods had returned after his cheating scandal.  Saturday’s overall coverage ranks ninth overall in the numbers of cable golf coverage.

Saturday’s broadcast from 9am – 2:47pm earned ESPN a 2.7 U.S. house hold rating, averaging three million seven hundred and seventy-six thousand viewers.  That beat out 2012’s third round coverage rating of 2.6 U.S. household rating with three million five hundred and forty-five thousand viewers.  This year’s rating marks the highest-rated and highest-viewed coverage of the third-round of the Open Championship for ESPN.

 ABC also performed well in its encore broadcast of the championship over the weekend.  It pulled in a 1.4 rating, up from 2012’s 1.3 in metered market ratings.  Sunday’s telecast pulled a 1.6 metered market rating.  That was even with last year’s broadcast. 

Ratings for ESNP’s digital coverage of the Open Championship were also up across the board.  That includes ESPN.com, Fantasy, Mobile ESPN Web, ScoreCenter, and WatchESPN.  ESPN.com’s Golf section saw an average of 890,000 daily unique visitors over the weekend.  That’s up twenty-two percent.  It saw an average minutes per day of nine point three million minutes per day on the section.  That is an increase of sixty-five percent. 

In its mobile coverage, ESPN mobile web averaged seven point six million minutes per day during the Championship.  That is an increase of thirty-two percent.  The Golf section on the ScoreCenter app averaged four hundred and thirteen thousand daily unique visitors.  This is an increase of one hundred and seven percent.  It saw an average of two million minutes per day (up one hundred and five percent).  Solidifying ESPN’s digital coverage, the combined numbers from WatchESPN and ESPN3 pulled in seventy-four point eight million total minutes through the Championship, up twenty-one percent compared to 2012’s coverage of the Open Championship. 

ESPN’s television golf telecasts of the Open Championship hold nine of the ten positions, including the top five. 

For all the latest from ESPN, go online to http://www.facebook.com/ESPN or http://www.espn.com.

To keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Offering Extensive Coverage Of 2013 Open Championship

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

 

ESPN will broadcast all four rounds of the PGA’s annual Open Championship live next weekend, July 18th – 21st.  ESPN and WatchESPN will have eleven hours of live coverage beginning with the first two rounds July 18th and 19th.  The first two rounds will be broadcast from 4am – 3pm each day.  Saturday’s round three coverage begins at 7am EST and runs through 2:30pm EST.  Round Four cover begins at 6am EST and runs through 1:30 pm EST.

Those that can’t catch coverage when it airs live next weekend need not worry.  All four rounds will be broadcast in an encore presentation.  The live broadcast and encore presentation of The Open are just part of the sixty-five total hours that center on The Open.  Also celebrating the 142nd renewal of one of golf’s biggest tournaments is The Best of The Open Championship.  The encore presentation of this feature has been edited for time.  It will be broadcast next Thursday – Sunday, July 18th – 21st.  the program will be broadcast Thursday – Saturday from 7pm – 10pm EST on ESPN.  Sunday’s broadcast will air on ESPN2 from 9pm – 12am EST.  Fans can get highlights of each day’s best moments on The Open Championship Today from 3pm – 6pm EST July 18th and 19th on ESPN and at the same time on ABC July 20th and 21st.  All broadcasts will be simulcast on ESPN Radio affiliates nationwide, online at ESPNRadio.com and on TheOpen.com.  A full rundown of coverage times and networks is available below.

SportsCenter will have its own special Open Championship coverage live from Scotland’s Muirfield Golf Links.  It will broadcast a one-hour special, SportsCenter at the Open Championship.  The special will air Wednesday, July 17th at 2pm.  There will also be a number of live in-depth reports beginning Monday, July 15th.

ESPN’s Mike Tirico will anchor coverage of the broadcasts for the 18th consecutive year.  He will be joined by Scott Van Pelt of ESPN’s SVP and Rusillo.  The pair will be joined by legendary BBC golf broadcaster Peter Alliss Thursday and Friday July 18th and 19th.  Van Pelt will also serve as hole announcer along with reporters Curtis Strange, Dottie Pepper, and Sean McDonough.  Paul Azinger, David Duvall and Peter Alliss will all serve as analysts for the four-day tournament at different times.  Andy North, Judy Rankin, Dottie Pepper, and Bill Kratzert will be on-course reporters.

During coverage of the annual Open Championship, ESPN will use two technologies to help viewers follow every shot throughout the hole.  The first of the technologies, “Virutal Aerial”, examines wind condition throughout the course and its impact on each hole.  The tech debuted at the 2012 Open Championship.  The second of the tech used to bring viewers into the Open is known as “Flight Tracker.”  This real-time feature will be used on six of the match’s holes.  It will create a virtual line allowing viewers to follow the ball from tee to hole on each of the six holes chosen to feature this tech.

Along with all of the in-depth coverage provided by ESPN, ESPN Radio, WatchESPN, and ABC, ESPN Classic will have fifty-five hours of special golf programming in a tribute to The Open in the days leading up to the famed tournament.  It all begins next Monday, July 15th at 11am EST with a broadcast of highlights from the 1978 Open Championship.  That year’s tournament was won by golf legend Jack Nicklaus.  The programming will run straight through 4am on Thursday, July 18th, when ESPN’s coverage of The Open Championship begins.  The new edition of ESPN The Magazine hits newsstands tomorrow, July 12th.  It will have a preview of next week’s match.  In the meantime, a complete broadcast schedule of next week’s Open Championship is available below.

The Open Championship – Muirfield Golf Links, Gullane, Scotland

(all times U.S. Eastern)

Day/Date Program Start Network
Wed., July 17 SportsCenter at The Open Championship 2 p.m. ESPN2, WatchESPN
Thu., July 18 First Round 4 a.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Thu., July 18 First Round 7 a.m. ESPN Radio
Thu., July 18 The Open Championship Today 3 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Thu., July 18 Best of The Open Championship 7 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri., July 19 Second Round 4 a.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri., July 19 Second Round 7 a.m. ESPN Radio
Fri., July 19 The Open Championship Today 3 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri., July 19 Best of The Open Championship 7 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Sat., July 20 Third Round 7 a.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Sat., July 20 Third Round 9 a.m. ESPN Radio
Sat., July 20 The Open Championship Today 3 p.m. ABC
Sat., July 20 Best of The Open Championship 7 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Sun., July 21 Final Round 6 a.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Sun., July 21 Final Round 8 a.m. ESPN Radio
Sun., July 21 The Open Championship Today  3 p.m. ABC
Sun., July 21 Best of The Open Championship 9 p.m. ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., July 22 Best of The Open Championship Noon ESPN2, WatchESPN

There is far more available on The Open On Demand and via other outlets.  For all of that information and more, fans can go online to http://www.facebook.com/espn and “Like” it or the official ESPN website, http://www.espn.com.

To keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

New PGA dvd documents a “major” moment in time

Golf, it’s said, is the gentleman’s game.  And since the PGA was founded April 10th, 1916, many gentleman have come through its ranks.  Those names go all the way back to the winner of the inaugural PGA Championship, James M. Barnes.  The PGA Championship was the first of what would become one of the PGA’s “majors.”  In 1934, another of the “majors” began, and has since brought the name of many gentlemen to fame.  That tournament was the Masters Tournament.  Horton Smith won the very first tournament, beating Craig Wood to take that title.  Since then, the Masters Tournament has brought many more names to prominence among the PGA’s ranks, including legends Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. The pair combined for a total of ten Masters titles since Palmer took his first title in 1957.  Now, fifty-five years after Palmer won his first title, members and fans of the PGA could very well be looking at another legend in the making after the conclusion of this year’s Masters Tournament.  His name is Bubba Watson.  And thanks to the people at A&E TV, at&t, ExxonMobile and IBM, fans of the PGA can re-live Watson’s unexpected win at this year’s tournament in the dvd release of “Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament.”

“Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament” takes fans through the tournament from the pre-tournament festivities to the amazing final battle for the title between Watson and South African Louis Oosthuizen.  Along the way, the dvd takes fans on the up and down journey throughout each round.  The final score of each round highlights that there was no clear cut leader.  Each round saw a diferent golfer at the top of the leaderboard.  Fans can watch as Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods struggle through the first round.  Their troubles, combined with Henrik Stenson’s collapse late in the first round set up what would become the start of Watson’s weekend rise.

The ups and downs of the tournament aren’t all that make this brand new dvd so enjoyable for golfers and fans of the “gentleman’s sport.”  Fans learn that the 2012 Masters tournament was recorded on a total of twenty-eight 3-D cameras.  It’s noted that the setup was the largest production of its kind.  That in itself is impressive.  Just as impressive is how this final product was edited and assembled for fans, including the soundbites added throughout the highlights.  Those soundbites really helped to emphasize the emotion being felt by the competitors.  The note of the production and the soundbites aren’t the only extra pieces of information that fans get in watching this documentary.  Audiences also learn that the double eagle shot by Oosthuizen in the final round was the first ever on television.  In small part, that may be seemingly irrelevant to anything.  But in the grand scheme of things, it shows how rare such a feat is, and for that matter, how rarely such a feat has ever been recorded.  That being the case, even such a small piece of information plays a big role in the overall presentation of this dvd. 

The doube eagle shot by Oosthuizen was one of many wonderful moments in this year’s Masters tournament.  ANother wonderful moment was watching Watson as he received his first ever green jacket, and the press conference that followed.  He openly professed his faith, and talked frankly with reporters about the tournament, adoption, and life in general.  He showed that he was just an average person who got lucky enough to be where he was.  He seemed to break the sterotypical mold of PGA pros and relate to the average fan and viewer.  Those moments are exactly what the PGA needs to bring in a whole new audience.  And having added them in their entirety as bonus features here makes the overall dvd presentation all the better.

The 2012 Masters Tournament was one of the greatest tournaments in PGA history.  From the weather, to the the ups and downs of tournament favorites, to the unlikely win of Bubba Watson, this new DVD documents it all, in a timely fashion.  The general presentation clocks in at just under an hour.  It all combines for what is a wonderful introduction to the sport for new fans, and an equally wonderful walk down memory lane for fans who have been watching the sport for a very long time.

To keep up with all the latest entertainment news and reviews, click the “Like” button on the Reel Reviews Facebook page and its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141 and http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks