The 2018 U.S. Open was a mixed bag for the folks at Fox Sports.
While the tournament itself produced a worthy winner in Brooks Koepka and the event was chalk full of controversy and questionable decisions by the USGA, Fox only saw minimal increases in terms of viewership. The final round recieved an overnight rating of a 3.6. That’s technically bigger than last year’s final round 3.5, but also lower thana 2016’s final round 3.8
While Fox has continued to make strides in terms of their golf covereage, the viewership numbers just aren’t there. From 1989-2013, when ABC and NBC were the television partners for the U.S. Open, the rating for the final round never dropped below a 5. Meanwhile, since Fox took over in 2015, they have never seen a final round do better than a 4.
While some of those drops can be associated with the decline of Tiger Woods over the years, one can’t help but wonder if golf fans just aren’t accepting Fox as a golf rights holder.