There should be no surprise that the CBS Sports' broadcast of the New Orleans Saints 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV won the weekly broadcast television ratings last week. After all, the game did displace M*A*S*H as the most watched show in United States television viewing history. But The PGA Tour and NBC Sports were losers for this year's PGA Tour event at Riviera (aka the Northern Trust Open nee the Nissan Open nee the L.A. Open).
Last year the PGA Tour event was on CBS Sports, and was not on the same weekend as the Super Bowl. It took place on the Daytona 500 weekend on FOX Sports. With the drama of Phil Mickelson successfully defending his 2008 title, the final round rating came in at 3.3, a 14% bump from 2008. This year, which the PGA Tour might want to write off now as an "Annus horribilis", the final round rating tumbled almost 50% to a 1.7.
Praying for a Break?: Angel Cabrera of Argentina, stands between Justin Leonard (left)
and Dustin Johnson, appears to be praying for a break in the weather as they wait to
hit their tee shots on the 12th hole during the second round of the 2010 Northern Trust
Open at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
The PGA Tour, which has been in denial about the impact of the economy on their business model, will really have to do something for Northern Trust, which has been under fire for continuing to stage this event despite needing to take TARP bailout money from the U.S. Government. As John Strege has written for Golf Digest:
A PGA Tour official said the estimated attendance for the week was 30,000, which failed even to match a typical Sunday total for past tournaments here. In 2007 attendance for the week was 151,417. Lost luster, indeed.
To help restore it, the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce that had run the tournament since its inception in 1926 was replaced by PGA Tour Championship Management.
Here are the top 24 watched sporting events for the week ending Fenruary 7, 2010 as measured by Nielsen Research.
Top 24 Watched Sporting Events for
the Week Ending February 7, 2010
Source: Nielsen Media Research
CBS SUPER BOWL XLIV-02/07/2010 INDIANAPOLIS VS NEW ORLEANS 45 FOX BUDWEISER SHOOT-OUT-02/06/2010 4.4 NBC LA OPEN-SUN-02/07/2010 1.7 ABC NBA SUNDAY SHOWCASE 1-ABC-02/07/2010 ORLANDO AT BOSTON 1.6 FOX FOX NASCAR DAYTONA QUAL-02/06/2010 1.6 NBC LA OPEN-SAT-02/06/2010 1.4 NBC NBC NHL-02/07/2010 PITTSBURGH AT WASHINGTON 1.1 CBS NCAA BASKETBALL-SAT-2-02/06/2010 CAL AT UCLA/WISC AT MICH 0.8 NBC NBC WINT ACT SPORT TOR-SA-02/06/2010 WINTER DEW TOUR 0.8 TEL FUTBOL ESTELAR II-02/06/2010 ATLAS VS AMERICA 0.6 NBC POKER AFTER DARK MO-SAT-02/06/2010 0.6 CBS CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR-SA-02/06/2010 CELEBRITY SKI FEST 0.4 UNI FUTBOL LIGA MEXICANA SUN-02/07/2010 ESTUDIANTES TECOS VS JAGUARES 0.3 AZA FLM SAT 1-02/06/2010 CRUZ AZUL VS SANTOS 0.3 TF FUTBOL LIGA MEX SAT-02/06/2010 PACHUCA VS SAN LUIS 0.3 NBC POKER AFTER DARK MO-SAT-02/04/2010 0.5 TEL FUTBOL TELEMUNDO-02/07/2010 TOLUCA VS MONTERREY 0.3 NBC POKER AFTER DARK MO-SAT-02/05/2010 0.5 TEL FUTBOL ESTELAR-02/06/2010 TIGRES VS UNAM 0.3 NBC POKER AFTER DARK MO-SAT-02/03/2010 0.4 NBC POKER AFTER DARK MO-SAT-02/02/2010 0.4 NBC POKER AFTER DARK MO-SAT-02/01/2010 0.3 AZA FLM SUN 2-02/07/2010 INDIOS VS MONARCAS 0.1 AZA BOXEO AZTECA SAT-02/06/2010 SOLIS VS RAMOS 0.1