Skip to comments.Easter curling broadcast in U.S. sweeps away the competition [not from the Onion]
Posted on 04/25/2003 7:20:44 AM PDT by NativeNewYorker
A question: Which sports broadcast drew the largest American television audience on Easter Sunday? A PGA Tour special on CBS or an Arena Football League game on NBC?
The answer: Neither. A one-hour NBC telecast, tape delayed by a week, of the world curling championships earned a 1.2 rating (about 1.2 million U.S. households). That was higher than arena football (.9) and the PGA special (1).
"Easter Sunday is always a tough day to get an audience," said Jon Miller, vice-president of programming for NBC Sports. "But curling did well. I was impressed."
The curling show, which featured three Canadian broadcasters, Don Chevrier, Don Duguid and Elfi Schlegel, not only drew a strong audience, but viewership increased over the course of one hour.
"One of the interesting things that we look at for a show like this is, how does it perform in the two half hours?" Miller said. "The rating actually started at a 1.1 and grew to a 1.3. It was a good show, very well produced and the viewers stayed with it."
The popularity of curling in the United States, as a TV sport, is remarkable. After all, it was hardly known before the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. A few weeks ago, a taped telecast of the U.S. championships on NBC earned a 1.4. Right now, curling is pulling in more U.S. viewers than the National Hockey League on ABC (average rating of 1.1).
"Oh, he's got some beautiful wrist action there, eh?"