For all of the hype and trash-talk in the build-up, the much vaunted head-to-head between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau failed to deliver where it counts – television ratings.
Broadcast across the United States on the TNT cable channel, only 633,000 people tuned in to watch the two major-winning rivals go head-to-head in a 12-hole match in Las Vegas.
That gave it a Nielsen rating of 0.2. For context, the Sunday of the 2019 Masters – where Tiger Woods won his 15th major – earned a rating of 9.9, with more than 15.4 million viewers.
Each of the previous four editions of ‘The Match’ series for which ratings have been gathered drew a minimum of one million viewers.
The Match II, which saw Tiger Woods and American football legend Peyton Manning take on Phil Mickelson’s and Manning's fellow NFL icon Tom Brady, attracted the biggest audience of all, with 5.8 million viewers tuning in. That, though, was in the midst of the pandemic and during a period in 2020 when all major professional sports were suspended.
The most recent contest, where Mickelson and Brady took on DeChambeau and another American football superstar Aaron Rodgers in July, drew 1,249,000 viewers.
Whilst ‘Fall Golf’ TV ratings do tend to err on the lower side, it’s hard to imagine that TNT execs won’t be at least a little disappointed not to have performed better, particularly given the well-documented ‘enmity’ between Koepka and DeChambeau that has dominated golf headlines over the last eight months.
For example, the Sunday of October’s CJ Cup, also staged in Las Vegas, enticed a bigger audience.
The contest itself proved to be a one-sided affair. DeChambeau failed to win a single hole, with four-time major champ Koepka running out a 4&3 winner.