Masters Final Round Ratings Plummet 51 Percent, Viewership Reaches Historic Low

The Masters
Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox

It turns out that not having Tiger Woods in contention and going head-to-head against the NFL is not a winning combination for Masters coverage.

The final numbers for the final round of the 2020 Masters are in and they show a 51 percent decline in the ratings, making it the least-watched Masters event since 1957, according to a report.

According to Sports Media Watch:

Sunday’s final round of the Masters averaged a 3.4 rating and 5.59 million viewers on CBS, marking the lowest-rated Sunday at Augusta since 1957* (3.0) and the least-watched on record (viewership records date back to 1995). The previous lows were considerably higher: a 6.7 in 1980 and 11.05 million in 2017.

The telecast, delayed seven months from its original April date, aired in a special early morning timeslot and overlapped with competing NFL games on FOX. It should be noted that the first hour of coverage was not included in the numbers.

Dustin Johnson’s win sank 51% in ratings and 48% in viewership from Tiger Woods’ iconic win last year, which aired in an even earlier timeslot (9 AM rather than 10), but on the tournament’s usual April weekend (6.9, 10.81M). Compared to 2018, the last time the final round aired in its usual late afternoon window, ratings and viewership fell 57% from a 7.9 and 13.03 million.

Still, despite the historic rating declines, The Masters delivered golf the highest rating and viewership of any 2020 event. Another positive, ratings for the PGA Championship, which did not compete with the NFL, suffered no loss in ratings while viewership actually increased 3 percent, SMW reports.


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