I guess the American Ryder Cup team can hang their hat on one more accomplishment from this weekend. They made television viewers care about golf again.
NBC, fresh off those off-the-chart Olympic ratings, had another successful sporting event with the Ryder Cup.
According to Sports Business Daily, the network garnered a 3.3 rating and 7 audience share for the Sunday singles, up 22.2% from the Nielsen for the final round in 2006.
This is some accomplishment considering the biggest draw in the sport, Tiger Woods, wasn't in attendance and very rarely came up in conversation. Unlike the PGA Championship and British Open, where it seemed networks spent more time on Tiger packages than of the actual players playing the tournament, NBC focused on the actual play going on and it paid off. Unlike the post-Woods injury, where ratings plummeted like the stock market, people tuned in even with the NFL on other channels.
It also didn't hurt that we saw personalities come out in a sport that is normally reserved to small smiles and hat tips. Who knows, maybe guys like Anthony Kim and Hunter Mahan will start bringing in people even when Tiger is away.