Paulsen follows up with a few more numbers putting the U.S. Open's ratings decline into perspective. From Sports Media Watch:
The past five years have produced the five lowest final round ratings on record. Until 2014, the record-low was a 4.5 rating. Since, ratings have not exceeded a 4.2.
The reasons for that will range from declining ratings in all sports, to additional telecast time to a general reduced interest in the U.S. Open. (The championship's sellout streak is also over despite a limit of 30,000 tickets a day.)
Then there is this:
For the season, the U.S. Open not only trails the third and final rounds of the Masters, but also ranks behind the final rounds at Tampa Bay (4.4, 6.9M) and the Players Championship (3.6, 5.8M).
Finishing behind Tampa Bay, even with Tiger, is astounding especially given the packed leaderboard heading into Sunday.
Paulsen also reports an additional 36,000 viewers streamed the final round on Fox Sports GO.
Yep, streaming has arrived!