Ratings sink as Tiger Woods’ balls don’t

Suggesting that audiences remain interested in golf telecasts only when Tiger Woods is on his game, ratings for Sunday’s NBC coverage of the U.S. Open fell 20 percent from last year. Overnight figures indicated that the telecast averaged a 7.0 rating, down from an 8.8 for the comparable day a year ago. Saturday’s rating was a 5.5 versus a 6.5 last year. Retief Goosen of South Africa won the golf contest. Reporting on the sinking ratings for the Open, Tuesday Wall Street Journal commented that they reflect “the vulnerability of a sport that relies primarily on a single athlete, a fact that could ripple through negotiations over television-broadcast rights.”