FedEx Cup keeps fans tuned in

Evaluating the success of the FedEx Cup playoffs can be somewhat of a subjective affair, but there’s little doubt it is meeting one of the Tour’s top goals: Driving viewership well past the season’s last major.

Overall, final weekend ratings for the four playoff events – though up 85 percent compared with a year ago – didn’t top 2007 levels.

But Tour officials maintain ratings from the first three years of the playoffs have shown “dramatic increases” over the three-year period before the playoffs were introduced.

Weekend ratings for each of the four events posted significant increases from a year ago (when Tiger Woods sat out recovering from knee surgery): The Barclays, up 93 percent; Deutsche Bank Championship, up 33 percent; BMW Championship (up 120 percent); and the Tour Championship (up 86 percent).

The final round ratings for each:

  • The Barclays: 3.2
  • Deutsche Bank: 2.2
  • BMW: 2.3
  • Tour Championship: 3.0

Though the increases are impressive, the actual ratings can be put in some context when compared with data from the broadcasts of other recent sporting events (held Sept. 19-20). A sampling from the final Nielsen ratings published in Sports Business Daily:

  • NCAA football: Tennessee vs. Florida; CBS: 4.3
  • NFL: Steelers-Bears; CBS: 14.5
  • Nascar Sprint Cup: Sylvania 300, ABC: 3.2
  • Dew Tour: Toyota Challenge (Skateboard), NBC: 0.4
  • LPGA: Samsung World Championship (final round), NBC: 0.8
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