The 2019 Tour Championship moved up the schedule a month to avoid the NFL and college football, while the PGA Championship moved to May.
In year one of the revamped schedule, both events lost ground in the ratings chase.
May’s 2019 PGA at Bethpage drew a 3.9 and was down 36%.
The 2019 Tour Championship’s final round 2.9 overnight was down substantially from last year’s Tiger Woods return to glory (5.1 overnight), but up from 2017, reports SBD’s Austin Karp. The Tour Championship was played in late September last year against NFL football.
While the 2019 Tour Championship was played a little later than a typical August PGA Championship, it’s worth noting that PGA’s in August drew some big numbers in recent years:
2017: 3.6 and lowest since 2008
2016 3.4 but still one of the bigger golf ratings of the year
2015 5.1 at Whistling Straits
Going back later, you’ll find plenty of 6’s, 7’s and 8’s for PGA Nielsen numbers and there is certainly the chance a PGA in May will have some big years.
But in year one of the new schedule, the PGA lost a lot of eyeballs—but kept audience sizes similar to the Players it replaced—and the Tour Championship/PGA Tour Playoffs essentially held it’s own against late summer Tour broadcasts of the past.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s Tour Championship suspension of play meant the Little League World Series’ USA final (2.1) easily beat the golf (1.5), while Sunday’s championship game drew a 2.0 to the Tour Championship’s 2.9 while going head to head.