NBC Reports Significant Drop in Ryder Cup Viewing Figures As Sky Sports Announces Record Week

Fans either side of the Atlantic showed contrasting levels of interest in TV coverage during the 2023 Ryder Cup

Team Europe captain Luke Donald is interviewed by NBC on the 18th green after winning the Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

US viewing figures for NBC’s 2023 Ryder Cup coverage of Singles Sunday dropped by more than a million compared to 2018, according to Sports Business Journal.

Team Europe regained the Ryder Cup from Team USA courtesy of a 16.5-11.5 victory at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy.

Zach Johnson’s side was 6.5-1.5 down heading into Saturday’s action and 10.5-5.5 behind before a tee shot was struck on Sunday.

And although the European’s made a good start in the singles, the men in red fought back to temporarily fray home nerves. It was not enough for America to rewrite history, however, as Donald’s dozen sealed the deal with a flurry of late points.

The US audience’s appetite for Ryder Cup golf appeared to follow that of their team’s fortunes, too, with 1.414 million tuning in during Saturday’s late counteroffensive compared to 1.315 million over the course of the final day’s play.

Those figures were significantly down on the previous Ryder Cup held in Europe during 2018, though, as 2.116 million Americans watched Saturday’s action at Le Golf National in France and 2.467 million engaged as Thomas Bjorn’s team clinched the trophy just outside of Paris.

Friday’s numbers in 2023 produced a similar pattern as well, with the opening day of competition drawing 516,000 viewers in the USA compared to 886,000 on the Golf Channel five years ago.

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Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, Sky Sports reported record viewing numbers for a single Ryder Cup.

The British broadcaster said the 2023 event was the most-watched edition ever thanks to an average of 785,000 fans tuning in during Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, up 38 per cent from Whistling Straits in 2021 and 25 per cent from Le Golf National in 2018.

Sky also reported more under 35s watched the 2023 Ryder Cup than in 2021 – up by 14 per cent - highlighting the sport’s ever-growing appeal to younger fans.

That follows on from the success of the Solheim Cup, where Europe retained the trophy thanks to an enthralling 14-14 tie at Finca Cortesin, and another record viewership for Sky Sports.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff Writer, joining Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and has since spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. The self-proclaimed ‘worst golfer in the office’ still enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.