The Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler supergroup didn’t live up to the hype, but it sure was a nice Thursday for Golf Channel.
Round 1 Players coverage ratings were up 49 percent year over year and produced the second most-watched opening round since the Players move to May, and the most-watched sports cable channel program for the day.
Round 2, when the Woods group played before the coverage window, was up just 13 percent from last year but did see a nice Friday evening peak of a million viewers from 5:30-5:45 p.m. Eastern.
The number that got The Forecaddie’s attention came Saturday, as Woods was out early and opening with a front-nine 30. As phone lines and social media mentions complained of no bonus coverage, Golf Channel and NBC’s broadcast team did show Woods’ final three holes during Live From The Players coverage. The Man Out Front hears those three holes peaked from 12:30-1:30 p.m. with a 1.0 rating, delivering the pre-game show its second highest Players-week rating and .55 rating over five hours.
Throw in NBC’s 2.58 over five hours – despite only having Tiger highlights – and it’s still very clear no one in golf is a bigger television draw.