With afternoon storms in the forecast at Augusta, the Masters was forced to move tee times to the morning on Sunday. That left CBS with a lesser broadcast window, especially with the late change, but Tiger Woods winning is still a very big deal, and it helped CBS post some impressive overnight numbers.
2019 Masters Final Round Coverage Dominates Sunday Ratings
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) April 15, 2019
Sports Media Watch broke things down well:
Sunday’s final round of the Masters, which was moved up several hours to avoid inclement weather, earned an 7.7 overnight rating on CBS — down 11% from last year (8.7), but up a tick from 2017 (7.6). CBS began coverage at 9 AM ET, compared to a 2 PM start in previous years.
The 7.7 is the highest on record for a morning golf telecast (dating back to 1986).
The timeslot really was key, and perhaps cost CBS some all-time numbers, given the magnitude of the story. But weather is weather, and Sunday morning followed by an evening encore probably worked out a lot better than a Monday finish would have. The peak times help tell the story:
Peak rating important to keep in mind for @TheMasters on CBS considering early start:
2019 peaked at 12.1 rating from 2:15-2:30pm ET
2018 peaked at 11.0 rating from 6:45-7:00pm ET
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) April 15, 2019
The share helps too; there are just fewer people watching television earlier in the day, after all, so it’s pretty hard for the total numbers to match up to evening windows in prior years. Again via SMW:
Using the share, which is the percentage of homes watching out of the number of televisions in use, Sunday’s telecast fared much better. It had a 21 share, up 17% from last year (18) and tied with 2013 as the highest for the Masters since 2011.
The encore did a solid number as well, of course, which is extra impressive considering just about everyone watching had to know the outcome already. Via CBS:
The encore presentation of the final round earned a 3.4/8 rating/share, the third-highest rated golf broadcast-to-date on any network this year behind only the live third-round and final-round of the Masters in the metered markets.
Thanks to weather, it wasn’t quite the perfect ratings scenario, but regardless of timeslot, Tiger Woods winning a major for the first time since 2008 at one of the biggest tournaments of the year is an outcome networks would take every single time.