Sat. May 25th, 2019

Final Round TV Audience Among Lowest in US Open History

Overnight numbers for Fox’s coverage of the final round of the 2018 US Open from Shinnecock Hills was up from last year’s event, but network executives still have plenty to be concerned about. According to Sports Media Watch, it was one of the least watched US Open rounds on record.

Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open earned a 3.6 overnight rating on FOX, up a tick from last year (3.5) but down 5% from 2016 (3.8).

Brooks Koepka‘s second-straight win, which peaked at a 6.1 from 6-6:30 PM ET, tops only last year and 2014 (3.3, NBC) as the lowest rated final round of the tournament on record.

This year was the fourth of the past five in which final round coverage had less than a 4.0 overnight. From 1989-2013, the final round had at least a 5.0 each year. That 25-year run included a 6.1 five years ago and an 8.5 ten years ago (when Tiger Woods won in a playoff).

Andrew Bucholtz at Awful Announcing points out that the number shouldn’t be a surprise, given that the Mexican National Team was opening World Cup play on Sunday and that game went head-to-head with the final round of the US Open.

Of course, there was some significant competition this year in the form of the World Cup, and Sunday’s Mexico-Germany match (which went head-to-head against the U.S. Open) wound up being the highest-drawing event of the weekend with a 4.3 for Spanish-language coverage on Telemundo and a 3.2 for English-language coverage on FS1. So an improvement, even slight, isn’t bad news, especially as 2017 didn’t have a major soccer tournament as competition.

The overall broadcast for the US Open saw its largest audience since 2015, but ratings are still way down. This was the fourth lowest rated tournament in the US Open’s history. There are still eight years left on the 12 year broadcast rights deal Fox signed for the US Open in 2013 and started in 2015.

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