Ratings Roundup: Dramatic End Fails To Boost PGA Championship on CBS

Despite a dramatic three-hole playoff and a load of controversy surrounding what may or may not have been a bunker, CBS’s final-round coverage of the PGA Championship on Sunday posted a 5.0 overnight rating, down 33% from 2009. The Martin Kaymer-Bubba Watson playoff and Dustin Johnson’s controversial two-stroke penalty on the 18th hole failed to make up for Tiger Woods’s absence on the leader board, and CBS was unable to match the 7.5 overnight posted last year when Woods finished second to Y.E. Yang.

The tournament represents the fourth-lowest overnight since 1996 but is up 67% from 2008, when Woods did not play. CBS’s third-round coverage on Saturday was also down, drawing a 3.1 overnight, off 37% from last year’s 4.9. The tournament did, however, score with online viewers: PGA.com saw 4.8 million live and taped video streams — up 689% from final-round online streams last year.

Fox Sports Southwest posted the two highest-rated Texas Rangers games and highest-rated overall program in network history last week during the team’s two-game tilt with the visiting New York Yankees. Wednesday’s game notched a 9.3 final rating, beating out Tuesday’s 8.2 as the top-rated Rangers game and a 2002 Lakers-Mavericks game as FS Southwest’s top telecast. Both games were also the top programs in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

Since ace left-hander Cliff Lee pitched his first game for the Rangers following a trade on July 9, his starts have averaged a 6.1 rating on FS Southwest. This has pushed the average Rangers game rating from 2.6 to 3.3 on the season.

Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith helped Saturday’s Pro Football hall of Fame Ceremony to a 1.1 final rating and 1.518 million viewers, up 83% and 97%, respectively, over last year. Rice and Smith joined Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little, and John Randle as the 2010 inductees.

ESPN’s first time out for the 2010 NFL season premiered to lackluster numbers, with Thursday’s Carolina Panthers-Baltimore Ravens preseason game down 19% in rating (2.5) and 22% in viewership (3.73) from the comparable Arizona Cardinals-Pittsburgh Steelers game last year (3.1, 4.76). the game logged a lower rating and fewer viewers than every preseason game on ESPN last year.