June 17, 2012

The Sked: SATURDAY RATINGS June 16 — U.S. Open Golf Decent

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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NBC won Saturday night with a 1.5 preliminary Adults 18-49 rating (subject to upward revision due to the live broadcast feed to the west coast).  Coverage of the third round of the U.S. Open golf championship from Olympic Club in San Francisco earned a 1.5 preliminary rating from 8-10 pm and a 1.6 rating from 10:00-10:30 for as-expected bonus coverage.  A repeat Betty White’s Off Their Rockers dropped to a 0.7 rating in the 10:30 half hour.  Hundreds of thousands were disappointed that The Firm did not air as scheduled at 10 pm, but NBC will take the extra rating points provided by the USGA in the 10:00 half hour.

The last time the U.S. Open aired in prime time Saturday (on June 20, 2010, when the tournament was played at Pebble Beach in California), NBC averaged a 1.2 rating from 8-11 pm (starting at a 1.1 rating from 8:00-8:30 and peaking at a 1.4 from 10:30-11:00, as the third round concluded).

The U.S. Open was also played on the west coast in 2008 (at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California), when NBC averaged a 1.7 rating from 8-11 pm.  (This was also the last U.S. Open won by Tiger Woods.)  Golf coverage on Saturday, June 14, 2008, started at a 1.5 from 8:00-8:30 and built to a 2.1 from 10:00-10:30 before a repeat My Name Is Earl cooled off the 10:30 half hour with a 1.0 rating.

In 2008 Sunday’s primetime ratings skyrocketed to a 4.7 rating from 7-9 pm, peaking at a 5.6 from 8:30-9:00. (Woods, with an injured leg, fought off a late challenge in the final round).  But that’s when Tiger was The Man.  In 2010 (a tournament won by Graeme McDowell from Northern Ireland), Sunday’s final round averaged a 2.9 rating in primetime from 7:00-9:30 (with a peak of 3.1 in the 9:00 and 9:30 half hours).  This year, Woods is in contention but seems to be fading.  If he implodes with bogeys on the front nine today, the extra viewers won’t be there in prime time for the back nine and the 2012 Sunday ratings will look more like 2010 than 2008.

ABC aired Cars from 8-11 pm, earning a second-place 0.9 rating and more importantly for the Walt Disney Company, providing a platform to promote the new Cars-themed attraction at the struggling California Adventure ghost town adjacent to Disneyland.

FOX could only muster a fairly-typical 0.7 rating for its regional MLB slate of games, and CBS posted a 0.5 rating for the night with repeats.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the dads out there!

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About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.