ESPN’s live coverage of The Open – the third major of the golf season from the famous Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland – delivered strong ratings and viewership throughout the weekend, posting double-digit increases from 2014.
Overall, The Open delivered a 1.4 US household rating, up 27 percent from 2014 (1.1), and 1,940,000 viewers, up 29 percent from 2014 (1,500,000), according to Nielsen. Monday’s final round coverage peaked from 1:30-1:45 p.m. ET with a 3.7 household rating and 5,294,000 viewers as American Zach Johnson captured his second career major, defeating Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in the first playoff at The Open since 2009. Daily highlights:
- First Round (Thurs): Coverage averaged a 0.8 household rating, flat with 2014, and 1,091,000 viewers, a nine percent gain from 2014 (1,000,000 viewers);
- Second Round (Fri and Sat): Due to weather delays, the second round aired across Friday and Saturday, averaging a 1.2 household rating, up 33 percent from 2014 (0.9 rating) and 1,550,000 viewers, a 29 percent spike from 2014 (1,205,000 viewers);
- Third Round (Sun): a 2.1 household rating and 2,910,000 viewers, increases of 110 percent (1.0 rating) and 115 percent (1,351,000 viewers), respectively, from the weather impacted 2014 event;
- Final Round (Mon): a 2.1 household rating, up 11 percent from 2014 (1.9), and 2,851,000 viewers, up five percent from 2014 (2,703,000 viewers).
Top metered markets for ESPN’s 2015 presentation of The Open include West Palm Beach (2.9 rating), Louisville (2.7), Oklahoma City (2.6), Tampa-St. Petersburg (2.4), Greensboro, N.C. (2.4), Ft. Myers, Fla. (2.4), Columbus (2.4), Charlotte (2.3), Indianapolis (2.2), Raleigh-Durham (2.2) and Tulsa (2.2).
Monday at The Open: WatchESPN’s Best Golf Event Ever and Top 10 All-Time in Minutes Viewed
The Open on ESPN digital platforms reached record-breaking viewership this year as live coverage of Monday’s final round finished as the top golf event and one of the top 10 events all-time in minutes viewed for WatchESPN behind the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship game. Monday’s coverage alone – including the early morning session, Spanish language feed and international view – generated over 1.1 million unique viewers, more than 94 million total minutes viewed and an average minute audience of 222,000.
Across all platforms throughout the entire tournament, The Open on WatchESPN saw a daily average of 599,000 unique viewers that watched over 40 million minutes per day, up 60 percent and 105 percent, respectively, compared to last year’s tournament. Additionally, each round of The Open saw increases over their respective day of play in 2014, averaging a 23 percent increase in unique viewers and a 33 percent increase in total minutes.
In total, golf content across all ESPN digital platforms – including ESPN.com, the ESPN app and WatchESPN – averaged 55.5 million minutes per day and an average minute audience of 39,000, both double the daily average of the previous year’s tournament.