2014 Masters Not a Ratings Blockbuster
By Torleif Sorenson on 4/15/14
CBS Sports and Augusta National Golf Club proudly presented The Masters. But this year, television viewers did not find it nearly as compelling — even with 20-year-old Jordan Spieth having a legitimate shot at a green jacket.

What is notable is that some people like Webster University economics professor Patrick Rishe predicted much lower-than-usual ratings back on April 1, just a couple of hours after Tiger Woods announced his microdiscectomy and being sidelined from golf for awhile.

The Detroit News reports that CBS earned a 7.8 rating for the final round on Sunday — down 24% from the 10.2 rating for last year's final round and playoff, in which Adam Scott defeated Ángel Cabrera in overtime. The last time The Masters drew as few viewers was for Phil Mickelson's victory in 2004; it garnered just a 7.2 rating.

Author and sports media blogger Ed Sherman noted that, even though Dallas-native Jordan Spieth was touted as a legitimate threat to win, neither the Dallas Morning News nor the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had reporters at Augusta National last week. To be fair, Sherman correctly notes that newspaper budgets are tight, especially with a six-year-long economic downturn that has seen major dailies like the Rocky Mountain News close down.

But Sherman also had this thought:
Given what Spieth did at the Masters, it will be interesting to see if the Morning News staffs future majors. He is going to win a major sooner and later, and when he does, it will be a big story, especially in Dallas.
Finally, we have these two comments by America's most senior golf writer, Dan Jenkins:



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[ comments ]
nickmomrik says:
It was one of the most boring Masters Sundays I can remember. Not once did they start following someone who was making a birdie run. Did anyone make an eagle on Sunday? I don't remember seeing any. Hurry back Tiger!
4/15/14
 
sticksboy says:
I enjoyed not having to watch the "tiger show". even if he isn't in the hunt, more often than not, its all about tiger and his drama. how can anyone say its not fun to watch Bubba play golf, he hits shots most cant even dream of.
4/15/14
 
joe jones says:
It's sad that fans don't watch the Masters for what it is. The golf course is a star of the first magnitude. The players are the performing cast. If anyone thinks that what Jonas Blixtz ( I love that name) and what the seniors led by Jimenez ( The most interesting man) accomplished isn't great theater they just don't cherish sport. I value what Tiger brings to the table as much or more than most. I have always taken issue with those that "hate" him for what ever reason. It has been a pleasure to span generations that have allowed me to watch some of the greatest athletes of all time. The masters is not a one trick pony. The talent is unbelievable and getting better all the time.
4/15/14
 
DougE says:
It was a good Masters. Not great. Certainly Spieth and Blixt and Jimenez kept it interesting. I wish Freddie could have hung in there too on Sunday.

I love watching Bubba and his imaginative, crazy game. Very happy he won.

But to those of you Tiger haters who think the networks and media pay too much attention to him, the lower ratings illustrate the point clearly as to why he gets so much focus. You may not like him, but guess what? He moves the needle. More people tune in than tune out when he is in the field because he is one of the greatest golfers to ever play the game. And if you don't like him for his off-course shenanigans, then you should probably add a fair portion of others on the Tour and throughout the sports world to your list who don't get the same intense scrutiny as Tiger does, but have similar off-course pastimes.
4/15/14
 
falcon50driver says:
Splain the 24% number?
4/15/14
 
jasonfish11 says:
(1-(7.8/10.2))*100= 24%

Not sure how the ratings figures are calculated though. So it might not be a 24% reduction in viewership.
4/15/14
 
joe jones says:
10.2 X .76 = 7.7555 rounded off to 7.8
4/15/14
 
joe jones says:
Thanks Doug. I'm glad you took up the torch. I get so tired chastising the haters that its nice to see someone that shares my feelings.Why people just can't bring themselves to enjoy the Tiger ride is beyond me. A few greats come along. When it happens they should watch and learn to enjoy what they are seeing.
4/15/14
 
legitimatebeef says:
Joe, I share your sentiments but why bother defending Tiger. His achievements speak for themselves. Plus he enjoyed well over a decade of unbelievable popularity, not only that but untouchable credibility and reputation too. For a long time, you couldn't reasonably not be a fan. Some backlash was always inevitable, even if all the unfortunate stuff had never happened. So what if for a lot of people he is now the heel, the villain--he still has a lot more fans than anyone.
4/15/14
 
joe jones says:
Beef. Granted . The hate groups just piss me off. You can't fix stupid.
4/15/14
 
falcon50driver says:
If one year the masters draws 10.2% of the viewing audience and another year it draws 7.8 percent of the viewing audience, that is a difference of 2.4 % , not 24%. A small matter of a misplaced decimal. I'm glad you aren't doing my taxes.
4/15/14
 
jasonfish11 says:
The 10.2 and 7.8 aren't percents as far as I know. They are ratings the number is arbitrary and I'm not sure how they calculate them.
4/15/14
 
falcon50driver says:
Percentage of viewership is calculated by the number of potential viewers, say one million, and the ratio of the people watching a particular program.
4/16/14
 
jasonfish11 says:
Even so the decline of masters viewers dropped 24% year over year because you are comparing the change in viewers to itself not to the entire population of possible viewers. Its like when you review your financials you compared year over year change of your profits you don't look at the year over year change of your profits compared to the entire airline industry.
4/16/14
 
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