Fox’s ratings of its debut broadcast of the U.S. Open were significantly better than those from last year’s NBC broadcast from Pinehurst, but somewhat disappointing historically.
According to Sports Business Daily, Sunday’s broadcast of the final round from Chambers Bay posted a 4.8 overnight rating, up 45 percent over Martin Kaymer’s wire-to-wire, runaway victory in 2014 at Pinehurst, which delivered a record-low 3.3 overnight rating. The 2014 final-round overnight numbers were down 46 percent from Justin Rose’s victory at Merion a year prior and down 35 percent from Rory McIlroy’s eight-stroke rout at Congressional in 2011.
Fox’s near 40 hours of live coverage (a record) averaged 4.8 million viewers over four days, up 41 percent from last year’s 3.5 million viewers. However, the Sunday overnight rating of 4.8 was the third lowest on record, next to 2014 and 1988, when Curtis Strange defeated Nick Faldo in a playoff at The Country Club near Boston.
The last U.S. Open to air in primetime, Webb Simpson’s victory in 2012 at Olympic Club near San Francisco, drew a 6.6 overnight rating. The 2010 U.S. Open from Pebble Beach, won by Graeme McDowell, drew a 6.9 final-round overnight rating while Tiger Woods’ playoff victory over Rocco Mediate from Torrey Pines in 2008 drew an 8.5 rating.
Read a breakdown of Fox’s U.S. Open coverage here.
A Fox release states that the entirety of its live coverage reached a total of 34.9 million viewers, according to a “custom analysis provided by Nielson.” Sunday’s broadcast peaked at an 8.0 rating from 10-10:30 p.m. EST. The top-five markets for the final-round telecast were Seattle, Jacksonville, Columbus, Louisville and Las Vegas.