Olympics draw golf’s biggest TV audience in history

WELL done Justin Rose, Olympic Champion for the next four years (at least), and Henrik Stenson, and Matt Kuchar, and others too numerous to mention, for providing an exciting finish that was watched by golf’s biggest-ever TV audience.

Viewers who, for the most part, have absolutely no idea about Open Champions or Masters Champions but who absolutely understand the significance of an Olympic gold medal.

The implications of golf having an audience which has been estimated at 3.6 billion are hard to grasp. It is much easier to understand when considered in smaller segments.

We are told, for example, that in the USA, where the last 90 minutes of the event were broadcast by both NBC and The Golf Channel, an average of 8.8 million watched over that period, almost as many as watched The Masters earlier this year – amazing considering all the other Olympic sports that they might have been watching at the same time and that some of America’s top players were not even on show.

In Sweden the audience averaged over 555,000, rising to 1.5 million for the final holes with fellow countryman Henrik Stenson very much in the running for the gold medal.

When Stenson and Phil Mickleson played their magnificent head-to-head ‘match’ for this year’s Open Championship at Royal Troon, the average TV audience in Sweden was apparently just 65,000.

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