Advanced Television

ESPN’s PGA coverage sets US cable viewing record

August 11, 2020

ESPN’s live coverage of the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco finished as the most-viewed edition of the event on cable since 2010, with younger viewers helping drive increases in several demographics.

The final round coverage on August 9th averaged 1,965,000 viewers, up 60 per cent over TNT’s final-round telecast from 2019 and the most-viewed final round on cable since 2010. The telecast peaked at 2.4 million viewers.

Across all four rounds, ESPN averaged 1,659,000 viewers and 399,000 viewers in the ages 18-49 demographic, up 35 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively, from TNT’s coverage last year. In addition to being the most-viewed PGA Championship on cable since 2010, ESPN’s average of ages 18-49 viewers was up 40 per cent over the past five years.

Younger viewers helped drive the increases – viewership among adults ages 18-34 was up 76 per cent from 2019 and this was the most-viewed version of the championship on cable in the demographic since 2009.

Top local markets for the final round telecast with metered market rating:

West Palm Beach 2.6
Tampa – St. Petersburg 2.4
Indianapolis 2.4
Columbus 2.3
Cleveland 2.2
Greenville-Spartanburg 2.0
Denver 2.0
San Francisco 2.0
Atlanta 2.0
Orlando, Phoenix, Portland 1.9

ESPN was in the first year of a new, 11-year deal to televise the PGA Championship, and was airing the event for the first time in 30 years

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