"The Match" sets records for ratings
The PGA probably already knew this. That fans are so-starved for live sports, they would watch a charity golf match that pitted Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in a sport that they were not dominant in.
On Sunday, "The Match: Champions for Charity" golf match had Brady and Phil Mickelson face Manning and Tiger Woods in a rain-soaked exhibition that was featured on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN. According to Turner Sports, the golf match averaged 5.8 million viewers.
This is good news for the PGA Tour, with the first tournament since the coronavirus pandemic halted The Players Championship on March 12-15. The tour will resume with the Charles Schwab Challenge, going on June 11-14 and will continue with the RBC Heritage on June 18-21 and the Travelers Championship on June 25-28. All the Majors have been postponed or cancelled with the PGA Championship scheduled for Aug 6-9 from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The U.S. Open was originally scheduled for June 18-21, was moved to Sept. 17-20 from Mamaroneck, New York. The Masters, originally scheduled for April 9-12, was moved to Nov. 12-15 from Augusta.
The charity golf telecast played without fans was the most-watched golf match in cable television history and the highest-rated program on TV on Sunday.
Manning and Woods won the match, but that didn't exactly matter. It was the banter between the players and Charles Barkley on commentary that made it worth watching. It was also the view of players without fans, but being miced up, where they had to be careful of what they were going to say, but also let loose at times.