Tiger Woods briefly held the lead during the final round of the British Open Sunday, and TV ratings released by NBC Monday showed a significant spike in Woods’ wake.
NBC’s overall final-round audience was up 37 percent over the number that saw Jordan Spieth win The Open on Sunday in 2017.
NBC’s Sunday telecast tied for the best Open overnight rating in 18 years. Final-round play from Carnoustie (measured from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Eastern) earned a 5.0 rating.
The audience peaked from 1-1:30 p.m. Eastern with a 6.74 rating. That timing followed Woods grabbing the solo lead before losing it on No. 11.
The overall 5.0 overnight number ties Woods’ 2006 Open victory at Royal Liverpool, aired on ABC. It equals the highest-rated final round overnight at The Open since Woods completed his “Tiger Slam” with a victory in St. Andrews in 2000.
Sunday, 33.9 million minutes were streamed during the final round, which was a 67 percent boost over 2017. A total of 125 million minutes were streamed, making The 147th Open the most-streamed golf event ever for NBC Sports.
NBC offered coverage through the commercial breaks via a split screen – which resulted an addition 181 shots – and showed each of the 156 golfers for the third year in a row, the network said.
“In 2016, we made a commitment to our partners at The R&A to help elevate The Open, golf’s original championship, with U.S. sports fans,” NBC sports golf president Mike McCarley said in a release.