Masters TV ratings soar

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This year’s Masters, won by Phil Mickelson from the first field to include Tiger Woods this year, was a big TV drawcard .

This year’s Masters, won by Phil Mickelson from the first field to include Tiger Woods this year, was a big TV drawcard that generated much higher ratings than it has in the last several years.

It failed to break any records, however.

Sunday’s final round, played out before a sell-out crowd at Augusta National and broadcast by CBS, earned a 12.0 overnight rating and a 25% share of all viewers.

This was 36% up on last year’s 8.8/21 when Argentina’s Angel Cabrera won, but fell well short of the record of 15.8/32 set in 1997 when Woods captured the first of his 15 majors.

The 74th Masters can nevertheless claim to have produced the third highest ratings for a final round in any golf tournament in the USA since at least 1986 which is as far back as records go.

Woods was also responsible for the second highest rating on record.

This was the 12.9/27 in 2001 when his second victory in the Masters enabled him to become the first golfer in history to hold all four of the modern majors at the same time.

They were not won in the same year, however, so he could not be credited with winning the Grand Slam.

The legendary Bobby Jones, who played a leading role in building Augusta National and establishing the Masters, has been credited with being the only golfer ever to achieve the Grand Slam (all four major in the same year) in the far off days when the majors consisted of the British and US Opens and the British and US Amateur championships

Woods’ return to competitive golf after a five-month break following a string of sensational exposures about alleged extramarital affairs, generated a ratings increase of 43 percent on last year’s first-round coverage by ESPN.

Woods was able to keep himself in contention for all four rounds, but he was clearly tournament-rusty and too prone to wild, stroke-losing shots and missed putts to ever really threaten the leaders

FOOTNOTE: Overnight ratings measure the nation’s largest markets and shares represent the percentage of all homes with TV sets in use at the time of the event.

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