Tiger effect? Day 1 Masters ratings down nearly 30 percent

This isn’t an apples to apples situation since Tiger Woods played early during the first round of the Masters last year. He went off at 10:45 a.m., meaning ESPN only got to show his last holes when it went on the air.

So why were ratings down considerably yesterday?

You wouldn’t be wrong if you said Woods’ absence has reduced the buzz for the tournament. Perhaps viewers weren’t as geared up to see Bill Haas at the top of the leaderboard.

I can’t think of another reason besides the Tiger factor. There was some compelling golf Thursday, especially with Phil Mickelson’s wild ride.

Will be interesting to see the ratings for Friday. Woods went off late in the second round last year, meaning ESPN’s afternoon coverage was wall-to-wall Tiger.

The release from ESPN:


ESPN’s live telecast of the first round of the 2014 Masters Tournament on Thursday, April 10, attracted an average audience of 2 million viewers with a 1.5 U.S. household rating, according to Nielsen Media fast national data.

ESPN’s telecast aired from 3-7:30 p.m. ET. Viewership peaked at 2.4 million between 6:30-7 p.m. while the ratings peak was a 1.7 between 6-6:30 p.m.

The ratings and viewership declined from ESPN’s 2013 first round telecast, which earned a 2.0 rating with 2.8 million viewers.

While ESPN’s live Masters coverage ends Friday, SportsCenter and ESPN.com will continue to report from the Masters throughout the weekend.

One thought on “Tiger effect? Day 1 Masters ratings down nearly 30 percent

  1. I’ll watch The Masters either with or without Eldrick in attendance. But I’m still amazed he has that much of a “gawk factor” among casual golf fans. And when I say casual, I mean people who don’t give a damn about golf UNLESS he’s playing. And there seems to be a ton of those people, and I don’t really think they EVEN LIKE GOLF!

    Remember back in the last half of 2008 or the 1st three months of 2010, when the ratings tanked without him? It just doesn’t change, and proably never will. And it sure doesn’t matter to me when CBS and/or NBC and/or ESPN cries about the ratings.

    I’ll also never understand WHY there are so many casual golf fans. I guess we never knew they even existed before 1997.

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