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Golf duel on par for ABC primetime

Tiger Woods and David Duval have helped golf successfully invade primetime.

The pair’s head-to-head 18-hole showdown Monday on ABC demonstrated the sport’s primetime potential by attracting the second-largest total audience for a golf telecast this season.

The “Showdown at Sherwood” shot a 6.9 rating, 12 share in households and a 3.5/11 in adults 18-49, both roughly on par with ABC’s solid Monday averages this summer. The match’s 9.7 million viewers per average minute repped golf’s second-biggest audience of 1999, behind only the Masters Tournament’s 13.8 million.

ABC’s research arm estimated about 20 million watched at least part of the telecast.

For the night, the Alphabet web led in total viewers, tied Fox for first among adults 18-49 and was edged by CBS in households.

At 8:30, CBS premiered its firstrun summer series “Thanks” (5.5/10 in homes, 2.6/8 in adults 18-49). The sitcom’s 7% decline vs. its 18-49 lead-in was CBS’ biggest in the slot since May.

Golf competition knocked “Dateline NBC” (6.7/12 in homes, 3.0/9 in adults 18-49) into the rough with its worst Monday 10-11 p.m. households rating ever.

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ABC’s Woods-Duval showdown was the first live primetime golf telecast in U.S. broadcast-network history. Woods took the $1.1 million first prize with a two-hole victory over Duval.

Each household rating point represents an estimated 994,000 homes, or 1% of the country’s TV households. Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.239 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. A share is the same sort of percentage, except it measures only the homes or viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved.

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