The Masters: Final Round Hits Eight-Year Low in Overnight Ratings, Third-Lowest in 20 Years

Posted by | April 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Tiger Woods‘ worst finish at The Masters, combined with the Easter Sunday holiday, sent overnight ratings for golf’s most prestigious event tumbling to an eight-year low.

Final round coverage of The Masters earned an 8.1 overnight rating on CBS Sunday, down 22% from last year (10.4), and down 33% from 2010 (12.0).

The 8.1 is the lowest overnight for final round coverage of The Masters since 2004 (7.3), and the third-lowest of the past two decades.

The Easter Sunday holiday likely had a negative impact on the numbers. Four of the five lowest final round overnights of the past two decades have taken place on Easter — 1993 (6.8), 2004 (7.3), this year (8.1) and 2009 (8.8).

Of the six Masters final round telecasts to take place on Easter (1993, 1998, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2012), only one, 2007, ended up with an increase in overnight ratings over the previous year. In fact, with the exception of 2007, each telecast was down from the previous year and exceeded by the following year — an indication that Easter results in a one-off drop in the numbers.

The 8.1 overnight for Sunday’s final round coverage ranks behind several marquee sporting events, including every game of the 2011 NBA Finals, all but one game of the 2011 World Series, three of the five games of the 2012 Bowl Championship Series, and the race portion of the 2011 Kentucky Derby (9.7). The telecast did outdraw the rain-postponed 2012 Daytona 500 (8.0).

Overnight Ratings For the Final Round of The Masters
Past two decades
Easter Sunday telecasts in red

(Sunday’s numbers from Bloomberg; 1995 overnight from USA Today 4/16/96; 1994 overnight from USA Today 4/12/94; 1993 overnight from USA Today 4/12/04; 1992 overnight from New York Times 4/12/92)

  • Stingbee30

    Golf reached it’s peak a few years ago when Tiger Woods was at the peak of his game…Easter weekend might have some impact, but the story is that GOLF will start seeing much lower ratings down the road…The economy hasn’t helped either…it is an expensive hobby to play GOLF.  Many who picked-up the game when things were good are probably more than likely have little or no interest in the game anymore because they cannot afford to play the game…

    You take out Tiger woods, and GOLF would be in the fringes.  I think the Tiger Woods story is not as appealing as it used to be…People are bored, and they have better things to do…

  • Bama_One

    The ratings might have been down, but it was one of the most exciting finishes in recent memory.  I’m glad that a nice, humble Southern guy named Bubba won it. 

  • Ronmar1996

    Christians were clebrating Easter! I would like for CBS to repete that round

  • Jahowans

    I am very surprised that the viewing of the Masters has dropped off over the past 3 years even with this year’s final round falling on Easter Sunday.  We planned all of our family activities around the Masters.
    I have been to Super Bowls, World Series games, Ryder Cup events, etc…, without doubt nothing tops the Masters.  It is the greatest annual sports event and I hope that more folks get to experience it first hand