Submitted by Chris McGinnis
July 2, 2020
The PGA Tour was one of the first sports in the United States to resume airing live events, returning June 11th after a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For the remainder of the 2019-2020 PGA Tour, all events will be televised without spectators until further notice.
With all other major U.S. sports still sidelined, it would be an understatement to suggest Americans were hungry for action. “The Match” – a golf charity match pitting Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson against Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning – delivered the highest ever golf audience on cable when it aired in May.
Over the past three weekends, three separate PGA events have aired on both cable and broadcast networks, and the viewership trends have held steady. Comparing the viewers of each event for 2020, versus the same event in 2019, we saw double digit growth in Unique Households, Reach Among TV Viewers, and Average Time Spent Viewing on Golf Channel alone.
VIEWERSHIP INCREASES FOR 2020 EVENT VS 2019 EVENT (Golf Channel)
Source: Comcast Viewership Data. Household viewership of 2020 PGA Events (listed above) versus the same PGA Events in 2019. Minimum 5 minutes viewed for each event.
For advertisers, the higher number of unique households and viewing share translates to a larger potential ad-viewing audience for upcoming events. The 2020 PGA events are around 15 minutes shorter than their 2019 counterparts; however, this year’s events are being watched an average of 28 minutes longer, which can translate to more viewer engagement and more opportunity for ads to be seen.
With viewership increases across each event, we also looked at the total number of unique households across all three events. This number was determined by counting each household that tuned into at least one of the three events.
For both the viewership and unique household stats that you’ve seen in this post, we’ve filtered out households that watched for less than 5 minutes, which ensures only the households that tuned in are measured.
The strong growth of the PGA Tour so far points to a strong comeback for other sports leagues when they return. We will continue to utilize our data insights to help our advertisers better understand changing viewing habits.
The 2019-2020 PGA Tour will continue to air events weekly until the PGA Tour Championship, on September 4th.