Here is a sneak preview of an item from my Tuesday newspaper collection, because I feel bad when I don't post stuff periodically for WatchDog loyalists:

Sunday’s not-so-grand finale of the first all-cable British Open attracted a measly average of 2.6 percent of homes in 56 major U.S. markets, a record low for the event, far below the previous mark of 3.5.

Many at the broadcast networks’ sports divisions were closely monitoring ESPN’s figures, certain they would be lower than in the past because ratings usually suffer when events leave over-the-air TV.

(There are about 15 million U.S. homes that do not have cable or satellite TV service.)

But a fair comparison might have to wait until next year – or at least until the first BCS Championship Game on ESPN in January.

Ratings Saturday were weak but still slightly ahead of what ABC did last year. But Sunday’s runaway victory for Louis Oosthuizen, a little-known South African, was a formula for ratings disaster, no matter what channel it was on.

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