The Loop

An Eagle For The Golf Channel

February 27, 2008

The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship was not only a victory for Tiger

Woods, it was a win for the Golf Channel. The three days GC had exclusive

coverage of the event --  Wednesday through Friday --  the broadcast scored the

highest cumulative ratings for those days in the history of the Match Play,

and the Friday 2.0 was the best number scored by GC since it started its

15-year exclusive cable deal with the PGA Tour in 2007. The previous best

rating for GC was 1.7 for the Friday coverage of both last year's Match Play

and the Tour Championship.

Wednesday at Dove Mountain, when Woods rallied from 3-down with five to play

against J.B. Holmes, pulled a 1.3 rating, with Thursday getting a 1.7 and

Friday, when Woods needed 20 holes to defeat Aaron Baddeley, garnering the

2.0. The numbers far exceeded the slightly more than 0.7 average rating the

network has been getting this year for PGA Tour events. The GC also scored

with its weekend lead-in coverage to the NBC broadcast, getting a 1.2 on

Saturday and a 1.7 on Sunday. The GC ratings include the audiences of both

the live coverage and the prime-time replay, but the weekend numbers were

particularly strong since they reflected only the live broadcast.

According to the Golf Channel, its previous best this season was at the

Buick Invitational, also won by Woods, which had a 1.1 on Thursday and a 1.5

on Friday. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am scored a 0.8 and a 0.9,

while the FBR Open had a 0.7 and a 1.0. Each Nielsen Media Ratings point

represents 750,000 million homes for the Golf Channel.

NBC's final-round coverage earned a 3.5 overnight rating, an increase of 67

percent from last year (2.1) and was the best final-round overnight for the

event since 2004, when Woods also won. Saturday's semifinal coverage on NBC

earned a 3.2, 88% higher than last year (1.7/) and also the best Saturday

overnight since 2004. Each ratings points represents 1.1 million homes for


-- Ron Sirak