Viktor Hovland’s Tour Championship win most-watched telecast since Tiger Woods’ improbable victory in 2018

Viktor Hovland’s Tour Championship win most-watched telecast since Tiger Woods’ improbable victory in 2018

Even though Viktor Hovland did not let Xander Schauffele get any closer than three strokes on Sunday, his Tour Championship victory produced staggering numbers for CBS.

In a memo distributed Tuesday, CBS Sports announced that its final round coverage of the 2023 Tour Championship averaged 4.613 million viewers.

It scored the most-watched telecast of this event since 2018.

Of course, Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship in 2018 in emphatic fashion, marking his first PGA Tour victory in five years.

Tiger Woods, Tour Championship

Tiger Woods walks toward the 18th green during the final round of the 2018 Tour Championship.
Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

Woods’ victory in 2018 drew 7.202 million viewers, a staggering number since that tournament competed alongside NFL football in the Sunday afternoon window.

But since then, the PGA Tour adjusted its season so that the FedEx Cup playoffs wrap up before football begins.

Even so, Hovland’s victory produced impressive numbers, especially considering he held a six-shot lead going into the final round.

A 1-hour, 53-minute weather delay also halted play Sunday afternoon, which is never a good sign for broadcast numbers. Typically, television viewers will go elsewhere—or abandon watching the coverage altogether whenever play is suspended.

Yet, the CBS broadcast on Sunday peaked at 5.510 million viewers.

The early round telecast, impacted the most by the severe thunderstorms, still drew 2.330 million observers.

Viktor Hovland, PGA Tour, Tour Championship

Viktor Hovland plays a shot during the final round of the 2023 Tour Championship.
Photo by Jason Allen/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The impressive numbers that CBS drew may result from Hovland’s rising popularity. Golf fans everywhere seem to love the 25-year-old Norwegian, who has an infectious smile and a carefree personality.

That seemed to be the case in Atlanta, too, as fans flocked to Hovland from Wednesday to Sunday, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the hottest players in the world.

Hovland won the BMW Championship and then the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup, the PGA Tour’s season-long prize. He earned over $32 million from these two victories alone.

CBS Sports had a pretty good season as well. The network averaged 2.206 million viewers for its 42 PGA Tour telecasts, up 1% from 2022.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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