Ryder Cup finale draws huge audience to NBC, Sky

The thrilling final day of the Ryder Cup golf tournament on Sunday in Illinois, the US, attracted the event’s highest preliminary viewing figures in the US for 13 years, according to the NBC network.

NBC’s live coverage of Team USA’s spectacular collapse from 10-6 up at the start of the day to a 14.5-13.5 defeat to Europe scored a 4.1 overnight rating – representing the percentage of homes with a television set in the top 56 US markets that were tuned in to the coverage – and a nine-per-cent audience share.

The final-day US viewing figures for the three-day event represented the largest audience for the competition since Team USA completed its own comeback from 10-6 down to win the 1999 Ryder Cup, which also took place in the US.

The report said that the audience for the 2012 event marked a 21-per-cent increase on the 3.4 rating generated by the previous edition of the Ryder Cup in the US in 2008.

In Europe’s major golf market, the UK, pay-television broadcaster BSkyB’s coverage of the Ryder Cup drew a five-minute peak of 2.24 million viewers on Sunday evening to Sky Sports 1. The channel’s coverage generated an average of 1.276 million viewers and a 6.8-per-cent audience share between 4pm on Sunday and 1am on Monday morning.