ATLANTA — Two of the biggest names from the PGA Tour and the NFL proved to be must-see TV.
Turner Sports said the Sunday telecast of "The Match: Champions for Charity" attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers across four of its networks. Turner says it was the most-watched golf telecast in cable television history.
It said the previous record was 4.9 million viewers on ESPN at the 2010 Masters, the year Tiger Woods returned to golf for the first time since the scandal in his personal life that led to a divorce.
Woods and Peyton Manning scored a 1-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, a match that featured high entertainment with shots and with words, along with raising $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.
The peak was 6.3 million average viewers from 5:45 to 6 p.m. EDT. That was about the time Brady, who had been lampooned on social media for his golf skills, silenced analyst Charles Barkley by holing out from the fairway for birdie.
It was the second straight Sunday of live golf on television after the pandemic shut down the sport on March 13. The previous week, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson defeated Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole Country Club in Juno Beach, Florida, in TaylorMade Driving Relief, an exhibition NBC Sports said attracted 2.35 million viewers across all formats.
"The Match: Champions for Charity" was shown on HLN, TBS, TNT and TRUTV.
After shutting down its 2019-20 schedule in mid-March due to the pandemic, the PGA Tour is set to return to competition with the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11-14 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.