Thursday, April 12
NEW YORK -- As usual, the only golfer Tiger Woods couldn't outdo was himself. Woods' victory in The Masters drew an estimated 40.1 million viewers and a 13.3 national TV rating Sunday on CBS, the second-highest totals ever for the tournament's final round. The rating is 33 percent higher than last year, when Vijay Singh won. In the 46 years CBS has aired the tournament, the only time more people and TV households tuned in to watch was in 1997, when Woods won his first green jacket. This year's third round drew a 7.8 rating, the highest for a Saturday in The Masters since 1972. The two-day average of 10.7 is the second-highest ever, also trailing only 1997, and ends a three-year slide for the event. The Sunday national rating in 1997 was a 14.1, the two-day number was 11.2, and an estimated 43 million people watched. Each ratings point represents a little more than 1 million television homes. As Woods held off challenges from playing partner Phil Mickelson and David Duval to win his fourth straight major title, ratings increased each half-hour from 4-7 p.m. ET on Sunday, starting with an 8.7 and rising to a 16.6. Woods' waltz through golf's most prestigious events has been accompanied by rising TV ratings. When Woods won last year's U.S. Open by a record 15 strokes to start his streak in the majors, NBC's telecast drew the highest Sunday rating for the tournament since 1981. His eight-stroke victory a month later at the British Open -- to complete his career Grand Slam at 24, the youngest player to do so -- helped ABC pull in that tournament's biggest ratings for a Sunday. And Woods' playoff victory over Bob May in the PGA Championship drew the event's highest preliminary TV ratings on record. "As it was in 1997, this further proves that when it comes to Tiger Woods and The Masters, people have a keen interest in wanting to witness history," CBS Sports president Sean McManus said Thursday, when the viewership figures were released. The release of the ratings was delayed several days because Nielsen Media Research had a technical problem.
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