(Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR)
By Joel Beall
There might be a few misguided souls that question the relevance and attraction of Tiger Woods in 2018. But they sure aren’t advertisers.
On Monday NBC Sports released its audience numbers from the Valspar Championship, where the 42-year-old Woods came this close to winning for the first time in five years. And according to the Peacock, viewers flocked to the broadcast in record numbers. The Golf Channel PR department reports that the final round at the Copperhead course drew a 5.11 overnight rating. A figure that is the highest non-major audience since the 2013 Players Championship (won by, you guessed it, Tiger Woods), and the highest non-Masters rating since the 2015 PGA Championship.
The group also announced that the final round lead-in on Golf Channel earned a 1.65 rating, becoming the highest-rated Golf Channel tour lead-in on record.
As for the digital front, only the last two Open Championships and the 2016 Ryder Cup drew higher than the 27.2 million minutes streamed on Golf Channel and NBC Sports platforms.
This is not particularly a surprise; two of Tiger’s other outings—the Farmers Insurance Open and Honda Classic—tied for the best TV marks of the season.
“He may be the biggest name in sports, matched only by Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali,” Neal H. Pilson, former president of CBS Sports and president of Pilson Communications, Inc., told Golf Digest after the Famers Insurance Open. “Does he still move the needle? The answer is yes.”
Tiger Woods is scheduled to play at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, an event he’s won eight times in his career.