With more than 3.2 million people watching at the peak, ESPN’s telecast of the first-day matches in the 39th Ryder Cup on Friday, September 28, was cable’s most-viewed Ryder Cup telecast on record.
ESPN earned an average of 1,984,853 viewers and an average household coverage rating of 1.7 (1.5 U.S. rating) during the 11.5-hour telecast, according to the Nielsen Company. Viewership and ratings peaked at 7 p.m. ET with 3,289,047 watching and a 2.6 rating. ESPN’s telecast aired from 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The highest previous Ryder Cup first-day average cable viewership on record was 1,735,295 on the USA Network in 1999.
The Ryder Cup was held at Medinah Country Club in Chicago. The every-other-year event was staged in Wales in 2010 and the first-day matches aired earlier in the day due to the time difference, averaging a 0.7 household coverage rating. ESPN first telecast the Ryder Cup in 2008.