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.
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