Scottie Scheffler’s arrest bumped PGA Championship TV ratings, Friday telecast peaked at 2,000,000 viewers

2024 PGA Championship - Round Three
Scottie Scheffler during the 2024 PGA Championship - Round Three

Scottie Scheffler's arrest drama at the PGA Championship helped the tournament witness a surge in viewership. According to CBS, the viewership increased by 11 percent for the final round compared to the previous edition.

The PGA Championship, the season's second major, took place last week, where Xander Schauffele emerged victorious, beating Bryson DeChambeau by one stroke. However, the highlight of the week was Scottie Scheffler's arrest on Friday, May 17, ahead of the second round due to miscommunication with the officers.

Following the arrest of the World No. 1 golfer, there was a positive impact on the viewership of the PGA Championship. According to CBS, the viewership for the final round was just short of 5 million, compared to 4.5 million last year at Oak Hill. However, it is still the second-lowest rating in the past five years.

CBS achieved peak viewership of 8.4 million on Sunday from 6:45–7 pm ET when Schauffle claimed the Wanamaker Cup after birdieing the final hole. The average viewership for the final hour of coverage was 7.8 million.

The average viewership of the second round of the PGA Championship on ESPN was 1.6 million, an 18 percent increase from the 2023 coverage. The highest viewership on that day reached 2 million between 6:00 and 6:15 pm ET.

This year, the PGA Tour has witnessed a negative trend in viewership. Most of the tournaments had lower ratings than last year. The Masters had an average of 9.59 million, compared to 12.1 million last season.

Why was Scottie Scheffler arrested during the PGA Championship?

On Friday, May 17, Scottie Scheffler was arrested by the Louisville Metro Police Department for bypassing traffic and not obeying police orders. This happened ahead of the second round of the PGA Championship when the golfer was trying to reach the Valhalla Golf Club for some pre-round warm-up.

However, an accident had taken place near Valhalla earlier, leading to the death of one person. Thus, there was a police presence at the accident scene. A little later, Scheffler arrived at the spot, and a police officer tried to stop him. He, however, ignored the signal and continued driving the car. The officer claimed that the golfer dragged him along, causing some injuries to his left wrist.

The World No. 1 golfer was then stopped and arrested on four counts: second-degree assault of a police officer, reckless driving, ignoring signals from an officer directing traffic, and criminal mischief (3rd degree).

Scottie Scheffler's arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, but has been delayed to June 3, citing scheduling conflicts.

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