Rory McIlroy’s record-breaking performance at the U.S. Open didn't translate to similarly earth-shattering television ratings. NBC earned a 5.1 overnight Nielsen rating –- a 35 percent decrease from the 6.9 number Graeme McDowell’s 2010 victory garnered -- according to the SportsBusiness Journal.
The 2010 tournament was on the West Coast, allowing the telecast to drift well into prime time, while Sunday’s NBC telecast ended around 7:45 p.m. EST. Another factor was Tiger Woods, who missed this year's tournament with injuries to his knee and Achilles' tendon. Last year Woods was in contention during the final round and finished in a tie for fourth.
NBC’s Sunday numbers peaked at 7.4 from 7-7:30 p.m., when McIlroy was putting the finishing touches on his first-career major championship. (Photo: Carlos M. Saavedra/SI)