Ratings Roundup: Turner’s PGA Championship Coverage up 35%, but CBS Down From 2014

Turner Sports’ multiplatform coverage of the 2015 PGA Championship grossed 11.4 million exposures – an increase of 35% over 2014 – across its daily TNT average audiences and PGA.com mobile, online and TV Everywhere platforms. However, final round coverage of the PGA Championship drew a 5.1 overnight rating on CBS Sunday, down 15% from last year (6.0).

pga-logo-1Despite being down from last year, CBS was up 16% from 2013 (4.4). Despite the double-digit drop, the 5.1 is the second-highest for final round coverage of the event since Tiger Woods finished second in 2009 (7.5). Excluding The Masters, it is also the highest overnight rating for a golf telecast this year — topping the the final round of the U.S. Open on FOX (4.8). This is the second straight year that the PGA Championship has been the top non-Masters draw. (SMW)

This year’s PGA Championship delivered double-digit growth across all platforms including TNT recording a 28% increase in total viewership and PGA.com’s suite of digital products registering significant gains in live video consumption, along with social impressions across Turner Sports’ PGA.com Facebook and Twitter accounts rising 45% over last year.

TNT’s live PGA Championship coverage (Thursday/Friday, 2-8 p.m. ET; Saturday/Sunday, 11 a.m.2 p.m.) averaged 1,637,000 total viewers and a 1.2 U.S. HH rating, up 28% and 20% over last year’s telecast windows. This year marks the network’s most-viewed PGA Championship coverage since 2010.  TNT’s four-day coverage also generated double-digit increases across key demographics including a 29% gain in Men 18-49 and 26% in People 18-49.

Sunday’s final round action on TNT delivered an average of 1,794,000 total viewers and a 1.3 U.S. HH rating, up 53% and 41% over 2014 and the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed Sunday coverage since 2010. TNT’s final round telecast – peaking with an average of 2.3 million total viewers from 1:30-1:45 p.m. – also posted considerable increases across core demos (+53% in People 18-49; +46% in Men 18-49).

The highest-rated metered markets for TNT’s PGA Championship coverage (Thursday-Sunday) — West Palm Beach (2.8), Milwaukee (2.7), Fort Myers (2.3), Columbus, Ohio (2.2) and Orlando/San Diego/Oklahoma City/Jacksonville/Memphis (2.1). The highest-rated metered markets for Sunday’s final round coverage – Milwaukee (4.0), Columbus (3.0), Memphis/San Diego (2.9), New Orleans (2.7) and Cleveland/Orlando (2.6).

PGA.com, managed by Turner Sports, garnered significant increases in live streaming throughout the four-day event with live video views up 56% and live hours consumed up 91% over last year.  Overall, PGA.com netted 14.1 million visits and 4.7 million unique visitors, up 31% and 10% over 2014.  This year’s live video streams and visits to the site are the highest for the PGA Championship on record.

The 2015 PGA Championship generated 23 million social impressions across Twitter and Facebook for PGA.com accounts managed by Turner Sports, an increase of 45% over last year…

…Golf Channel’s Golf Central Live From The PGA Championship pushed the network to its most-watch Monday-Wednesday coverage of a PGA Championship Week ever. The network’s coverage during that span posted a Total Day Average of 80,000 average viewers per minute with wraparound news coverage up 14% vs. 2014. (Cynopsis Sports)…

…The Aug. 16 edition of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell – the Kansas City Royals defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4-3 in an extra innings thriller – generated the best rating ever for a regular-season Major League Baseball telecast on ESPN in the Kansas City market. According to Nielsen, the telecast delivered a 19.8 rating, which also makes it the highest-rated, regular-season pro sports or college sports game telecast on ESPN in the Kansas City market. The 19.8 rating is also the best metered market rating for a regular-season Major League Baseball game on ESPN in more than six years, since the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox Sunday Night Baseball telecast on Apr. 26, 2009 delivered a 20.7 in the Boston market. Nationally, last night’s Royals-Angels telecast drew a 1.3 overnight rating, up 30 percent from a 1.0 for last year’s comparable game (Atlanta Braves-Washington Nationals, Aug. 10, 2014)…

…FOX Sports Southwest saw the Rangers’ eighth straight win on Monday score a season best rating, drawing a 5.3 in Dallas-Fort Worth. That also marks the highest-rated Rangers game on the regional sports network since 2013, according to Nielsen. That score was also up 83% better than the team’s season average rating going into the game (2.9). (Cynopsis Sports)…

…Last Friday night’s nail-biting series opener between the Blue Jays and the Yankees set a network record for Sportsnet as the most-watched program in its history, as an average audience of  2.03 million viewers (2+), tuned into the broadcast. Sportsnet’s previous all-time most-watched program was the 2014-15 NHL season opener on October 8, 2014 between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, which delivered an average audience of 2.01 million. Audience levels on Friday night peaked at 3.14 million at 10:19 p.m. ET, during Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s 12-pitch at-bat with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. The highly-anticipated weekend series between Toronto and New York at Rogers Centre (Aug. 14-16) delivered an average audience of 1.53 million viewers on Sportsnet, with average audiences of 1.23 million tuning in on Saturday, Aug. 15 and 1.27 million tuning in on Sunday, Aug. 16. This marks the most-watched Blue Jays series in network history, surpassing the previous series record featuring Toronto vs the Yankees in New York on Aug. 7-9 (1.29 million average audience). Rounding out the network record trifecta, season-to-date, Sportsnet is delivering an average audience of 727,000 for its Blue Jays broadcasts, the highest average audience for Blue Jays broadcasts in network history, up 24% over the average audience, season-to-date in 2014…

…Tennis Channel’s coverage of the Citi Open tournament in Washington, D.C., established an all-time ratings high for the network for the summer period between Wimbledon and the US Open. The channel’s weeklong live telecast of the men’s and women’s competition August 3-9 garnered an average 0.20 household coverage-area rating in Nielsen metered markets. This is an increase of 43 percent over last year’s 0.14 average, and makes the week the highest rated between Wimbledon and the US Open in Tennis Channel history. The combination of ratings growth and significantly increased television hours resulted in a massive upswing for the Citi Open’s television reach in 2015, doubling the tournament’s overall viewership in the 56 metered markets to 19.9 million, compared with 10 million in 2014 (then on both Tennis Channel and ESPN2). Based on Tennis Channel internal estimates, nationwide this extrapolates to 33.5 million viewers in 2015 compared with 17.1 million in 2014.

Another record for the summer period between Wimbledon and the US Open, Tennis Channel delivered 623,867 unduplicated viewers in Nielsen’s 25 local people meter measured markets during the seven-day Citi Open, surpassing all previous highs. Total-day (6 a.m.-3 a.m.) ratings grew 30 percent last week as well, to 0.13 from 0.10 in 2014. Tennis Channel Live at the Citi Open, the network’s daily pregame show on the grounds of the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, saw an 18-percent gain in tune in, to 0.13 from 0.11 in 2014, when the network showed encore matches of earlier tournaments in the same time slot. The 43-percent ratings jump came across the entire week as opposed to just the final weekend, as Tennis Channel doubled the amount of overall matches this year. The sustained audience build through seven days indicates the effectiveness of the total-coverage model in 2015.

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