PGA Tour's Canadian Open scores 22-year ratings high on LIV Golf's opening weekend – SportsPro – SportsPro Media
The PGA Tour’s Canadian Open racked up its largest US television audience in 22 years, with the golf tournament’s final round averaging 2.78 million viewers on broadcaster CBS.
As reported by Sports Media Watch, viewership on CBS was up five per cent on the 2019 Canadian Open, when an average 2.63 million tuned in. This year’s event, which saw the tournament return after a three-year hiatus due to Covid-19, saw viewership peak at 3.67 million on 12th June as Rory McIlroy won his second consecutive Canadian Open.
The tournament’s third round averaged 1.96 million viewers, up 17 per cent on 2019.
Sports Media Watch added that the 3.67 million viewership peak was the PGA Tour’s largest audience in a month, excluding majors.
The Canadian Open was the first PGA Tour event to coincide with the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series’ inaugural tournament. According to Apex Marketing, round one of LIV Golf’s event averaged 94,000 viewers on YouTube, with round two notching up 54,000 viewers on the Google-owned platform.
LIV Golf’s underwhelming numbers should not come as a surprise as its broadcast distribution was a muddle of free streaming via its own website, YouTube and Facebook, combined with a number of giveaway rights deals with global pay-TV networks.
According to Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch, LIV Golf’s YouTube numbers meant the organisation spent roughly US$9,000 per viewer for its second round on 10th June. That is highly unlikely to prompt a course correction. LIV Golf’s Saudi backing means it does not have to adhere to normal business practices for a sports property, with a focus on simply disrupting its rivals and making noise.
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