Television ratings for NBC’s broadcast of the final round of golf’s U.S. Open rose 29 percent from a year earlier as Webb Simpson captured his first major championship, with the tournament ending during prime time on the U.S. East Coast.
The 6 1/2-hour coverage of the tournament yesterday at San Francisco’s Olympic Club was seen on the Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US) network in 6.6 percent of homes in the top 56 U.S. television markets, Adam Freifeld, a spokesman for the network, said in an e-mail. That’s 29 percent higher than the 5.1 rating the network drew when Rory McIlroy won the event last year at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. The 2011 tournament ended around 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
The broadcast ratings this year increased each half-hour between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. New York time, peaking at 8.1 as former U.S. Open winners Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk failed to birdie the 18th hole and force a playoff, sealing Simpson’s victory.
The prime-time finish put the year’s second golf major in competition with Game 3 of the National Basketball Association Finals, which generated a 10.4 big-market rating on Walt Disney Co. (DIS:US)’s ABC, the network said in a news release.
LeBron James scored 29 points and Dwyane Wade added 25 as the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 91-85 in Miami, taking a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Through three games, the matchup is the highest rated since 2004 and second highest ever on ABC, the network said, citing Nielsen Holdings NV. (NLSN:US) The series is averaging an 11.3 big-market rating, up 5 percent from 10.8 last year, when the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks.
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