Undesirable hours and poor performance from the American team led to a down year for Ryder Cup viewership in the United States.
NBC’s event coverage in Italy attracted 1.41 million average viewers on Saturday and 1.32 million viewers on Sunday — a drop from 2.12 million and 2.47 million, respectively when the event was played in France in 2018.
This time around, much of NBC Sports’ coverage was conducted in the overnight and early morning hours. It also didn’t help that the U.S. team trailed from the beginning of day one and ultimately lost the trophy by a score of 16.5 to 11.5.
However, the lopsided score may have helped viewership across the pond.
Sky Sports’ coverage in the United Kingdom averaged a record 785,000 viewers for the weekend — a 38 percent increase from the 2021 competition in Wisconsin and a 25 percent increase from 2018.
The coverage totaled 3.7 million viewers for the weekend and saw 14 percent more viewers under 35 than in 2021.
NBC Sports is paying a reported $440 million over 15 years for the U.S. rights to the Ryder Cup, or $55 million per event. When the competition comes to New York’s Bethpage Black in 2025, it will look to make a better return on investment.