Record aud views NBC Ryder Cup broadcast

Dramatic victory lures potential gridcast viewers

The U.S. team’s dramatic come-from-behind victory in last weekend’s Ryder Cup produced the highest ratings ever for that golf event.

NBC’s coverage of the climactic round Sunday scored a 6.3 rating, 15 share in household results for the 46 markets metered by Nielsen, beating the previous record of 4.9/14, set just the day before.

NBC estimated that about 55 million viewers saw at least some of its record 17 hours of weekend Ryder Cup coverage.

The previous highest-rated Ryder Cup, according to NBC, was the 1997 event, which averaged a 4.1/12 over its two days. This year’s two-day 5.4/14 average reps a 32% jump over the 1997 average.

The big golf numbers apparently intercepted some potential weekend football viewers, but Fox still padded its Nielsen stats with a 13.8/28 metered-market average for its Minnesota-Green Bay gridcast, the weekend’s top-scoring sports event.

Nielsen’s 46 metered markets account for about 64% of the country’s TV homes. National Ryder Cup results are due from Nielsen on Thursday.