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Morning tee time hurts ratings for Tiger Woods’ historic Masters win

Tiger Woods reacts as he wins the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (A
Tiger Woods wins the Masters golf tournament April 14 in Augusta, Ga.
(David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

The overnight ratings for the CBS telecast of Tigers Woods’ stunning comeback victory at the 2019 Masters on Sunday were hurt by its early morning start time.

Coverage of the final round at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., averaged a 7.7 rating in the 56 cities measured by Nielsen.

The rating is down 11% from last year’s final round after predicted rain for the afternoon pushed Sunday’s competition to early morning tee times. CBS coverage began at 9 a.m. Eastern time and ran until 3 p.m.

The final round Masters coverage typically begins at 1 p.m. Eastern and winds up sometime after 7 p.m., when more people are available to watch.


Nonetheless, the rating was strong for a golf telecast with such an early start. The rating topped all morning golf coverage going back more than three decades.

In Los Angeles, where coverage began at 6 a.m. Pacific, the Masters averaged a 5.4 rating, the fourth lowest among the overnight markets.

A number of major golf events have morning start times, including the Ryder Cup, the British Open and occasionally the U.S. Open. The audience for the 2019 Masters topped all of them going back to 1986.

The audience built during the broadcast, peaking with a 12.1 rating at 2:15 p.m Eastern time.


Woods, 43, provided high drama as his fifth Masters win was his first major championship since 2008. During that drought, he coped with four back surgeries and a series of personal scandals, including a DUI arrest two years ago.

Woods set a record for most years between Masters wins — 14 — and became the second-oldest winner of the tournament behind Jack Nicklaus, who was 46 when he won in 1986.

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio

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