British Open Delivers Record Setting Telecasts

Phil Mickelson beat out the likes of Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, and Tiger Woods last week to win his first ever British Open championship and, according to the latest numbers, a record number of people gathered around their televisions to watch.

The Claret Jug, handed out to the champion of the British Open. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Claret Jug, handed out to the champion of the British Open. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Despite being aired in the early morning hours here on the east coast of the United States and in the middle of the night on the west coast, the British Open set new records for ratings and total viewership of the event.

Starting at 4am on Thursday and Friday and 8am on Saturday and Sunday, ESPN earned a record-tying 3.1 U.S. rating for Sunday’s final round telecast. The telecast, which averaged over 4.3 million viewers, set a cable viewership record for the event, eclipsing last year’s mark when just over 4.2 million viewers watched.

Sunday’s final round received the third-highest ranking among all golf telecasts on cable. While many tuned in to watch Mickelson make his historical comeback, Tiger Woods seems to be the common factor in all three. In addition to Sunday’s round, the Jupiter Island resident was also part of the two highest rated golf telecasts on cable which included his 2008 U.S. Open playoff win over Rocco Mediate and his first round of the 2010 Masters.

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