“The Match” sequel gains 5.8m average audience on TNT

The sequel of “The Match” between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson was a ratings hit in the United States over the weekend, attracting an average of 5.8m viewers across four Turner Sports networks.

The officially-titled “Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity” was also the most-watched golf telecast in the history of cable television in the US, beating the first round of the 2010 Masters on ESPN (4.9m viewers).

It was broadcast domestically on TNT, TBS, truTV, and HLN, as well as internationally on Turner’s CNN International.

The charity golf event, which featured Woods, Mickelson, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, raised $20m for Covid-19 relief efforts. Woods and Manning triumphed with a 1-up victory.

The 18-hole event at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, had a delayed start due to rain. It peaked with an average of 6.3m viewers from 5.45-6pm ET. This was around the time a struggling Brady hit the shot of the event, a birdie from the fairway on the seventh hole.

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report’s social and digital platforms secured 38m video views, more than 5m social engagements, and 172m social impressions.

By contrast, the previous weekend’s “TaylorMade Driving Relief” charity golf event averaged 2.35 million viewers across NBC networks. That event at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida, pit Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and rising star Matthew Wolff in a two-man team skins competition.

“The Match” also fared favorably with ESPN’s hugely-successful Michael Jordan-based documentary The Last Dance, which averaged 5.6m same-day viewers. But the events continued an historic run for original sports content during the ongoing pandemic in which the last two months have seen the most-watched golf event ever on cable, the most-watched documentary ever on ESPN, the most-watched National Football League Draft ever, and the most-watched non-Daytona 500 race for Nascar in three years.

The PGA Tour is planning to return to action in mid-June, with the initial four events in an ambitious revised schedule due to be played without spectators.