PGA, NFL stars attract nearly 6 million viewers in TV match

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Jan. 24, 2016, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning speak to one another following the NFL football AFC championship game in Denver. The next match involving Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson involves a $10 million donation for COVID-19 relief efforts, along with plenty of bragging rights in a star-powered foursome May 24 at Medalist Golf Club. Turner Sports announced more details Thursday, May 7, 2020, for “The Match: Champions for Charity,” a televised match between Woods and Peyton Manning against Mickelson and Tom Brady. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Two of the biggest names from the PGA Tour and the NFL proved to be must-see TV.

Turner Sports said the Sunday telecast of “The Match: Champions for Charity” attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers across four of its networks. Turner says it was the most-watched golf telecast in cable TV history.

It said the previous record was 4.9 million viewers on ESPN at the 2010 Masters, the year Tiger Woods returned to golf for the first time since the scandal in his personal life.

Woods and Peyton Manning scored a 1-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at Medalist Golf Club, a match that featured high entertainment with shots and with words, along with raising $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.

The peak was 6.3 million average viewers from 5:45 to 6 p.m. EDT. That was about the time Brady, who had been lampooned on social media for his golf skills, silenced analyst Charles Barkley by holing out from the fairway for birdie.

It was the second straight Sunday of live golf on television after the pandemic shut down the sport on March 13. The previous week, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson defeated Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole in an exhibition that NBC Sports said attracted 2.35 million viewers across all formats.

The Champions for Charity match was shown on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN.

The PGA Tour is set to return in two weeks at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, for the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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