US Open Golf Tournament Viewership, 1971-2007

Categories: TV Ratings Reference

Written By

June 12th, 2008

Tiger Woods Win = TV Ratings Win

The long term average for US Open Golf Tournament viewership has held quite steady at somewhat over 6 million average viewers over the past 20 years, but a Tiger Woods win has meant a ratings win as well. The notable recent exception being 2001 when the Retief Goosen win in a playoff did quite well too.

The two years Tiger Woods has won, 2000 & 2002, have been the highest rated since 1987 (although much of the spike in 2002 can be attributed to the fact that the data is for just the 2 final rounds instead of 4 as in most years). However, when Tiger is simply in contention on the final day (2005 & 2007, Tiger finished 2nd), ratings don't break out above the long term trend.

With Tiger's recent knee surgery, the PGA and NBC have to be hoping for a miraculous recovery to push him to the top of the leaderboard on Sunday to produce ratings magic.

This year the US Open is trying something different to increase ratings in the first two rounds. Instead of randomly assigning the playing groups, they have put the top 12 ranked players together in 4 groups. I think that's a great idea for fans and am interested to see what effect it has on the Thursday & Friday ratings. The weekend groupings will be based on the players scores at the beginning of each round as they always have been.

Complete US Open Golf Ratings, 1971-2007


Year Viewers HH Rating Share Telecasts Network Winner
1971   6.4 25 2 ABC Lee Trevino
1972   9.1 28 2 ABC Jack Nicklaus
1973   9.0 30 2 ABC Johnny Miller
1974   7.3 25 2 ABC Hale Irwin
1975   6.8 23 3 ABC Lou Graham
1976   7.3 23 2 ABC Jerry Pate
1977   5.5 21 2 ABC Hubert Green
1978   5.8 22 2 ABC Andy North
1979   5.2 19 2 ABC Hale Irwin
1980   6.1 20 2 ABC Jack Nicklaus
1981   7.5 25 2 ABC David Graham
1982   6.9 21 2 ABC Tom Watson
1983   5.9 18 3 ABC Larry Nelson
1984   5.9 17 3 ABC Fuzzy Zoeller*
1985   6.3 19 2 ABC Andy North
1986   5.6 19 2 ABC Raymond Floyd
1987 8.85 6.8 19 2 ABC Scott Simpson
1988 5.31 4.3 13 5 ABC Curtis Strange*
1989 6.41 5.0 16 2 ABC Curtis Strange
1990 6.30 5.1 17 3 ABC Hale Irwin*
1991 5.30 4.4 14 3 ABC Payne Stewart*
1992 3.63 5.7 17 2 ABC Tom Kite
1993 5.86 4.8 16 2 ABC Lee Janzen
1994 5.76 4.6 15 3 ABC Ernie Els*
1995 6.26 5.0 17 2 NBC Corey Pavin
1996 5.32 4.2 14 4 NBC Steve Jones
1997 7.09 5.5 18 4 NBC Ernie Els
1998 5.91 4.6 14 4 NBC Lee Janzen
1999 6.69 5.1 16 4 NBC Payne Stewart
2000 8.24 6.0 16 4 NBC Tiger Woods
2001 7.62 5.5 16 4 NBC Retief Goosen*
2002 10.75 7.5 20 2 NBC Tiger Woods
2003 5.72 4.2 12 4 NBC Jim Furyk
2004 6.31 4.4 13 4 NBC Retief Goosen
2005 5.82 4.2 12 4 NBC Michael Campbell
2006 5.00 3.5 9 4 NBC Geoff Ogilvy
2007 6.49 4.5 12 4 NBC Angel Cabrera

*Playoff

2006-2007 Data is Live+SD viewing, all previous years are Live viewing.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
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