Masters ratings increase for CBS, ESPN
By Torleif Sorenson on 4/15/13
The Masters proved extremely worthwhile for CBS and ESPN; both television outlets saw higher viewership ratings over last year.

On Friday, ESPN drew a 3.0 rating and 4.2 million viewers within the United States. In terms of ratings calculations, this is an increase of 11% over last year and 20% from 2011. In terms of the number of viewers, this is an increase of 4% over 2012 and 19% over 2011.

(Business owners and managers everywhere are probably cringing at those numbers.)

On Sunday, the numbers were even better for CBS: The ratings/share, according to Nielsen, was 10.2/21, up 26% over last year, when Bubba Watson's victory drew an 8.1/19. According to the Associated Press, Saturday's telecast rating was up 24% over 2012.

Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Billy Payne, club members, and their counterparts at CBS deserve some kudos for fitting in some promos for the Drive, Chip and Putt competition, although they decided to air more of the "don't text and drive" PSA. While admirable, the National and CBS should have had ready a filmed-and-produced PSA showing kids participating in the kind of events the Drive, Chip, and Putt competition will involve, in this writer's opinion — and run that more often in place of the incessant "don't text" spots.

And while this writer will not fault ANGC for limiting their commercial partnerships to IBM, AT&T, and Exxon/Mobil, those three companies need to produce and prepare a wider variety of spots in order to keep from boring viewers with the "same old" message over and over again.

More importantly, everybody and their cousin is clamoring for more televised coverage on Thursday and Friday of the Masters. Given that The Masters has scheduled players using the PGA Tour's early-late or late-early system, rather than re-pairing after the first round, this is all the more justification for permitting ESPN to take the air much sooner than 3:00 p.m. EDT on the first two days. In show business, an old adage says to "leave them wanting more." The problem is that Augusta National is slow to adapt this on weekdays.

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Image by Torleif Sorenson

[ comments ]
GolfSmith7 says:
Tiger moves the needle even though this time for the hype he might win, then the controversial penalty and finally wondering if he could make a run on sunday. Tiger is the different variable from the previous two years. Even though he played last year there wasn't the excitement from his win this one generated. The playoff was small factor too.
mjaber says:
With the multple viewing options now available, I don't think you will see more regular TV coverage of days 1 and 2. I was able to start watching on the Masters app (andd their website) at around 1pm both days. I even had the picture-in-picture going on my PC on Thusday. I would like to see them expand the number "feature groups" available, and start showing them from the 1st tee.
sjduffers says:
The PSA about texting and driving was actually the air time that was allocated to ATT for being a sponsor. IBM and Exxon chose to run things more in line with conventional commercials, about ATT chose the "don't text and drive" campaign. I am actually glad they did as there are still way too many idiots on the road doing it (and not just teenagers!).

I DVR'd the coverage on Thursday and Friday and watched it later those days, in the evening. I thought it was amply sufficient. Do you need more? Check out
Dusty23 says:
It seems to me that Augusta National has adapted very well to the, "Leave them wanting more", concept because the way they limit the TV broadcasts is doing exactly that. It is making us want more of it.
C-4 says:
One man sigle handedly changed the game of golf...El Tigre
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