ESPN’s PGA Championship First Round Telecast Earns Double-Digit Viewership Increase Over Last East Coast Playing of Tournament

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ESPN’s PGA Championship First Round Telecast Earns Double-Digit Viewership Increase Over Last East Coast Playing of Tournament

ESPN’s live telecast of the opening round of the PGA Championship on Thursday, May 20, from Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina averaged 1,179,627 viewers, an 18 percent increase in viewership over the last comparable playing of the event in an East Coast location in 2019.

ESPN’s telecast, which ran from 1-8:17 p.m. ET, peaked at 1.4 million viewers between 5:45-6 p.m. Viewership was up 18 percent from the 2019 first-round telecast on TNT, which averaged 1,001,472 from Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y., the last time the PGA Championship was played on the East Coast, and in May, and aired at comparable times.

Last year, with the event moved to August due to the pandemic and played in San Francisco, it aired well into East Coast prime time and ESPN averaged 1,271,050 viewers for the first round telecast.

Top reported local markets for the Thursday’s telecast with metered market rating:

Tampa/St. Petersburg 1.5
Cincinnati 1.5
Austin 1.4
Jacksonville 1.2
Atlanta 1.1
Charlotte 1.1
Columbus, OH 1.1
Las Vegas 1.1
West Palm Beach 1.1

ESPN+ also featured extensive live streaming coverage throughout the day, including traditional coverage from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. before it moved to ESPN as well as eight Featured Groups and a Featured Holes stream.

ESPN’s PGA Championship coverage continues Saturday with live coverage of the third round on ESPN+ (8 a.m., or possibly earlier) and ESPN (10 a.m.). ESPN+ also will have Featured Groups and Featured Holes streams all day.

In addition, SportsCenter and ESPN.com will report from the PGA Championship throughout the weekend.

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Media contact: [email protected]

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Andy Hall

I’m part of a team that handles PR/Communications for SportsCenter, including the SC Featured brand, and ESPN’s news platforms. In addition, I’m the PR contact for ESPN’s coverage of golf, motorsports (Formula 1), and the sports betting program Daily Wager. I’m based in Daytona Beach, Fla., and have been with ESPN since 2006.
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