Open viewers stay loyal to the BBC


The BBC TV highlights programme on Sunday evening was watched by 1.5m, a considerably higher number than the audience of 1.1m who had watched the live coverage of the final round on Sky Sports during the Sunday  afternoon. These figures compare with 4.7m who watched the final round from St Andrews in 2015 (played on a Monday) and 5.5m who watched Rory McIlroy triumph at Royal Liverpool in 2014, both, of course, broadcast free-to-air by the BBC.

The viewing numbers are down but the quality of the golf played by Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson was inspiring and is already being described as classic, recalling the ‘duel in the sun’ played by Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry in 1977. In fact Nicklaus has written on Facebook, “Our round was really good, but this was better.” Few would argue with Jack!

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