Get Me To The TV On Time

According to Amanda Kondolojy of, the overnight rating for Sunday's final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational from Bay Hill on NBC, in which Tiger Woods earned his first PGA TOUR victory since 2009, was up 129% from last year, and is the best overnight for this event since a one-stroke Tiger win three years ago, according to data released by The Nielsen Company.
Sunday's final round (2:30-6:30 p.m. EDT), which saw Woods defeat Graham McDowell by five strokes, registered a 4.8 overnight rating and a 10 share, up 129% from last year's final round (2.1/4), and the best overnight for Bay Hill since 2009 (4.9/10) when Woods defeated Sean O'Hair by one stroke. From 6-6:30 p.m. EDT, the tournament registered a 6.8/13, topping the NCAA Tournament game head-to-head in that half hour (Kansas-North Carolina, 6.6/13). Although anecdotal evidence only has been offered, head professionals and directors of golf in the Eastern and Central Time Zones say they saw a dramatic spike in the number of early-morning (higher-priced) tee time requests, so golfers could squeeze in their usual Sunday round and still be in front of their television sets when Tiger teed off shortly after 2 p.m.
(NBC's third-round coverage on Saturday (2:30-6 p.m. EDT) produced a 2.9/7 overnight rating/share, a gain of 53 percent over last year's 1.9/5, and the best third-round overnight rating in nine years, 3.4/7 in 2003.)
For the uninitiated, Wikipedia defines a single national ratings point as representing 1% of the total number (approx. 118,000,000) of households with televisions for the 2011-12 season. Share is the percentage of television sets in use tuned to the program. For example, Nielsen may report a show as receiving a 9.2/15 during its broadcast, meaning that on average 9.2 percent of all television-equipped households were tuned in to that program at any given moment, while 15 percent of households watching TV were tuned into that program during a specific time slot. The difference between rating and share is that a rating reflects the percentage of the total population of televisions tuned to a particular program, while share reflects the percentage of televisions actually in use.
By comparison, and to underscore the sheer draw of watching Tiger in contention, the final round of the 2011 Bay Hill tournament (won by Martin Laird), when Woods finished in a tie for 24th and was pretty much out of it by early Saturday afternoon, produced a 2.1/4 ranking, while the 2010 final round (Ernie Els finished two ahead of Kevin Na and Edoardo Molinari), when Tiger did not compete, was 1.6/4. Woods has won the event in seven of the last 13 years. 


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