In a memo distributed Tuesday, CBS Sports announced that its final round coverage of the 2023 Tour Championship averaged 4.613 million viewers.
It scored the most-watched telecast of this event since 2018.
Woods’ victory in 2018 drew 7.202 million viewers, a staggering number since that tournament competed alongside NFL football in the Sunday afternoon window.
But since then, the PGA Tour adjusted its season so that the FedEx Cup playoffs wrap up before football begins.
Even so, Hovland’s victory produced impressive numbers, especially considering he held a six-shot lead going into the final round.
A 1-hour, 53-minute weather delay also halted play Sunday afternoon, which is never a good sign for broadcast numbers. Typically, television viewers will go elsewhere—or abandon watching the coverage altogether whenever play is suspended.
Yet, the CBS broadcast on Sunday peaked at 5.510 million viewers.
The early round telecast, impacted the most by the severe thunderstorms, still drew 2.330 million observers.
The impressive numbers that CBS drew may result from Hovland’s rising popularity. Golf fans everywhere seem to love the 25-year-old Norwegian, who has an infectious smile and a carefree personality.
That seemed to be the case in Atlanta, too, as fans flocked to Hovland from Wednesday to Sunday, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the hottest players in the world.
Hovland won the BMW Championship and then the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup, the PGA Tour’s season-long prize. He earned over $32 million from these two victories alone.
CBS Sports had a pretty good season as well. The network averaged 2.206 million viewers for its 42 PGA Tour telecasts, up 1% from 2022.