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ESPN Birdies Its Highest British Open Ratings

ESPN's coverage of the 2012 British Open (also known as The Open Championship) drew its highest ratings since the network began coverage of golf's oldest major tournament.

ESPN's telecasts on Saturday and Sunday were the highest-rated British Open rounds ever on cable. Saturday's penultimate round netted a 3.1 rating (up 48%) and averaged 3.5 million viewers. On Sunday, Ernie Els' thrilling comeback against Adam Scott to win the championship earned a 3.6 rating (up 38%) and averaged 4.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen fast nationals.

ESPN's coverage of Thursday and Friday's opening rounds also saw double-digit increases; Thursday's opening round drew a 1.2, up 71%, and averaged 1.3 million viewers while Friday's second-round coverage scored a 1.6 rating, up 78%, and 1.8 million viewers.

ESPN's digital platforms, WatchESPN and ESPN3 were up 140% over 2011.

The Open Championship logged an average minute audience of 46,400, up 40%.