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).
(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)