June 20, 2011 11:20am PT by Marisa Guthrie
Rory McIlroy’s U.S. Open Victory Doesn’t Boost Ratings
Despite a record-shattering finish by Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, television ratings for the final round of the U.S. Open were down double-digits compared to last year.
Sunday’s coverage on NBC Sports averaged a 5.1 household rating from 1:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET. That’s a jump of more than 41 percent over Saturday’s 3.6 rating. But it’s still down 26 percent compared to last year’s 6.9 rating for Graeme McDowell’s win at Pebble Beach in California.
But that match finished at 9:15 on the East Coast, when television usage levels are higher than during the daytime hours.
This year’s tournament is even with the 2009 U.S. Open, which was played at Bethpage in New York. But it pales in comparison to the 2008 U.S. Open when Tiger Woods won with a shredded knee. That tournament, which was played at California's Torrey Pines, averaged a 5.3 rating on Saturday and an 8.5 rating on Sunday. This is the first U.S. Open that Woods has missed since 1994.
Viewership for this year’s tournament – at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland – peaked at a 7.4 rating from 7 to 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. The top markets were Washington, D.C. (9.4 rating) and Spartanburg, South Carolina (8.3 rating).