ESPN Scores Hole-In-One With U.S. Open Coverage

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Tiger Woods wasn’t the only winner at this year’s U.S. Open. ESPN, which shared coverage of Monday’s dramatic 19-hole playoff with NBC, garnered a 4.2 rating and more than 4 million households, making it the most-watched golf telecast in cable television history.

Woods, who won his 14th major championship, defeated journeyman professional Rocco Mediate by a single stroke on the first sudden-death hole following an epic 18-hole playoff.

ESPN broadcast the playoff from noon to 2 p.m. ET before NBC took the reigns for the thrilling conclusion.

Before Monday’s playoff coverage, ESPN’s telecast of the 2008 Masters tournament held the record with a 3.1 rating and more than 3 million households.

ESPN’s coverage of the first two rounds of this year’s U.S. Open was the most-viewed combined telecasts since 2000. The two-day coverage (four telecasts, Thursday and Friday 1-3 and 5-10 p.m., ET) averaged a 1.8 household rating and 1,780,000 impressions. Key male demos were up across the board compared to 2007, including men 18-34 (31%), men 18-34 (26%) and men 25-54 (43%).

“The Sports Leader’s” U.S. Open coverage on mirrored its broadcast success. (Thursday, June 12 to Monday, June 16) generated more than 5.1 million visits, up 256% from 2007, and 36.7 million page views, up 282%, with the Monday playoff alone generating nearly 2.4 million visits and 10.7 million page views.

Also, ESPN's WAP(wireless Web) site averaged more than 2 million unique daily visitors to golf content during tournament, generating nearly 3 million page views.