The Tiger Woods comeback has been nothing short of spectacular to watch. Woods appeared to be nearly bedridden just a couple of years ago, and on Sunday he finished tied for second at the Valspar Championship ahead of guys who have not only been playing more tournament golf than he has, but also winning.
The Tiger Effect is obvious. Crowds appeared to be 50 deep following Woods around the course and when other big names were shown it looked like they were playing in front of no one. Obviously, Tiger moves the needle.
Golf Channel and NBC are definitely excited to have Woods back playing like he did last week at the Valspar Championship. The Saturday round scored a 3.26 overnight rating. According to Golf Channel PR, that is the highest rated third round for any PGA Tour Round 3 on broadcast television in nearly 12 years:
Sunday, with Tiger starting his day one-stroke off the lead, was also a big score and earned a 5.11 overnight rating. That is the highest rated PGA Tour broadcast, not including majors, since the 2013 Players Championship which Woods won. It was also the highest rated golf broadcast other than the Masters since the PGA Championship in 2015 (5.14).
Here are a few other nuggets from Golf Channel’s PR team:
· Coverage peaked at a 6.62 from 5:30-6p ET on NBC and a 2.12 from 2:30-3p ET on Golf Channel.
· Final Round coverage of the Valspar Championship on NBC was +28% vs. final round of the 2015 Wyndham Championship (4.0), the last time Tiger Woods contended on a Sunday, and +73% vs. final round of The Honda Classic a few weeks ago.
· The Valspar Championship saw 27.2 million minutes streamed across Golf Channel / NBC Sports’ Digital platforms, becoming the most-streamed PGA TOUR event ever for the network, and the fourth-most streamed golf event overall for NBC Sports behind the 2016 and 2017 Open, along with the 2016 Ryder Cup. (source: Adobe Analytics)
· Sunday’s coverage saw 15.4 million minutes streamed, +1060% vs. 2017.
· In the event’s home market of Tampa, the final round Overnight rating was a 10.98.
Tiger’s return in and of itself had already been great for golf, but with him at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday, it’s even better for the sport. Look no further than what PGA Tour players are saying about Woods’ return. They know that with him in the field it means more eyes on the sport, and with more eyes watching comes more money.
And then Eddie Pepperell, who won on the European Tour just a few weeks ago, drops the mic.
Tiger is back, and it’s a good thing. So, let’s all appreciate it while we can.