Made-for-television golf outdrew made-for-television tennis in the ratings battle Sunday, nearly four to one.
The fifth annual Skins Game golf competition on NBC got an overnight Nielsen average rating of 7.0, while the first $1-million Stakes Match tennis on ABC had a 1.9.
One source said that ABC guaranteed sponsors of the Stakes Match at least a 4.0 national rating. If that rating is not met, and it appears that it won't be, then the network will owe sponsors a rebate or additional commercial time.
The overnight golf rating is for 15 of the nation's largest markets, whereas the overnight tennis rating is for 10, since five chose not to carry the event Sunday.
Last year, the Skins Game drew an overnight rating of 9.1. Joe Goldstein, a spokesman for Ohlmeyer Communications, which produced the event, said the main reason for the drop was because of television scheduling in Chicago, the nation's third-largest market.
Last year, the Skins Game in Chicago followed a Bear game and drew a 15.3. This year, the Skins Game opposed the Bears and Green Bay Packers on CBS and drew only a 2.0.
This year's Skins Game on Saturday outdrew the tennis, 4.9 to 2.5 in the overnights.
Other weekend overnight ratings included: 11.0 for Miami-Notre Dame football on CBS Saturday, 16.0 for NFL football on NBC Sunday and 15.5 and 21.5 for an NFL doubleheader on CBS Sunday. CBS showed only one game in Los Angeles Sunday because the Rams were home.
The Skins Game drew L.A. Nielsen ratings of 5.4 Saturday and 12.9 Sunday, while the tennis drew L.A. ratings of 2.8 and 2.5.
Miami-Notre Dame in L.A. Saturday drew an 8.4, Chicago-Green Bay football Sunday drew a 15.9 and Denver-San Diego drew a 17.2.
The national rating for the Nov. 21 Breeders' Cup at Hollywood Park, which wasn't available until Monday because of the Thanksgiving holiday last week, was only a 2.9, an all-time low.
The three previous Breeders' Cups drew national ratings of 5.0, 4.1 and 4.4.
The Oklahoma-Nebraska football game, which opposed the Breeders' Cup, drew a national rating of 13.1, the highest college football rating since 1983.
The Missouri-Nebraska and Nebraska-Oklahoma games that year both drew national ratings of 13.2.
The national rating for the Nov. 21 USC-UCLA game, which also opposed Oklahoma-Nebraska, was only 4.4.