Sky Sports Golf announces Ryder Cup record as NBC viewers slump badly

2023 Ryder Cup becomes most-watched edition on Sky Sports with 3.7m viewers, as NBC sees numbers drop over the weekend.

Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup

Europe's dominant victory over the US at the 2023 Ryder Cup was watched by 3.7 million viewers over the weekend on Sky Sports, making it the most-watched edition in the broadcaster's history.

It wasn't all good news for the television companies, though, as US-based broadcaster NBC noticed a significant drop in viewers from 2018.

Across the three days, Sky Sports averaged 785k viewers per day, which was a 38% increase on 2021 and a 25% increase on 2018. The historic event also saw a noticeable uptick in younger fans watching, with 14% more under 35s tuning in than in 2021.

While Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland were putting on a show for Team Europe, it appears American fans weren't quite as impressed with what they saw from their stars, including Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka.

Viewing was significantly down across networks in the US, with NBC reporting Sunday viewing figures of 1.3 million, a huge drop off from the 2.4 million that watched the final day of the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris from home. 

Perhaps the 4-0 Friday morning demolition session of Team USA put US fans off, but it could have also been the reported poor coverage of the event that had a hand in the meagre viewing figures, with some fans even declaring they 'might go back to bed' because the broadcast was so bad. 

It was all roses for Sky Sports, though, with the company revealing that not only were viewing figures high on TV, but its digital and social platforms also recorded substantial traffic.

Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland

Across Sky's digital platforms, there were over 10 million views of editorial content and 2 million video views across the website and app.

Those same staggering numbers were reflected across Sky's social channels, with Sky's X (formerly Twitter) account recording 9.1 million video views and 22.1 million tweet impressions. Notably, Viktor Hovland's couple-less photo also caused quite a stir with fans on Instagram, receiving over 80,000 likes. 

The record viewing figures follow on from the 2023 Solheim Cup, which was the most watched edition of the tournament on Sky Sports as Europe retained the trophy courtesy of a thrilling 14-14 draw against USA, with Suzann Pettersen's side recovering from 4-0 down after the opening day's foursomes. 

Sky Sports Director of Golf, Jason Wessely said:

“This past weekend rounds off a superb period where we’ve seen record numbers across both the Ryder and Solheim Cups. It’s testament to the team we have when it comes to producing unparalleled content and commentary.  
“Looking ahead, we know there’s a real opportunity when it comes to engaging with new fans as we see younger generations coming to the sport, as well as the ongoing role we have in growing the women’s game through telling the stories of the world’s best female athletes.” 

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