Was it the Spieth factor? Masters ratings up 26 percent on Sunday

An estimated 14 million viewers tuned in to CBS to watch Jordan Spieth clinch the Masters title Sunday. The 8.7 national rating was up 26 percent over last year when Bubba Watson outlasted Spieth on the final day.

There probably was a Tiger Woods bump over the weekend; he didn’t play in 2013. His big round on Saturday helped CBS pull a 5.8 rating, up 45 percent from last year.

Woods, though, mostly was a non-factor Sunday, as the focus mainly was on Spieth and runner-ups Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose. The rating also would have been higher with a bit more drama. Spieth held a four-shot lead for most of the back 9.

Clearly, viewers tuned to watch Spieth. The emergence of a new young champion bodes well for golf at a time when Woods is slipping and Mickelson now is 45. Expect the networks to try to hype a budding Spieth-Rory McIlroy rivalry going into the Players Championship in May and the U.S. Open in June.

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