ESPN’s live coverage of the 2010 Masters Tournament on Thursday, April 12 (4-7:38 p.m. ET), generated an average of 4,936,000 viewers (based on fast nationals) to become the most-viewed golf telecast in cable history. The telecast surpassed the 2008 U.S. Open Championship playoff held Monday, June 16, 2008 (4,762,000 viewers), when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate on ESPN.
Thursday’s first round of the tournament posted a 4.0 fast national household coverage rating and 3,931,000 household impressions, both ranking second to the 2008 U.S. Open Championship playoff (4.2 rating; 4,056,000 households).
The 4,936,000 viewers represent a 47 percent increase over last year’s comparable Thursday coverage (3,366,000 viewers). The corresponding household rating (4.0 vs. 2.8 in 2009) and household impressions (3,931,000 vs. 2,749,000 last year) were up 43 percent.
Compared to 2008, this year’s Thursday coverage was up 102 percent in viewers (2,447,000 viewers), 89 percent in households (2,081,000 impressions) and 82 percent in household rating (2.2).
Live coverage of the Masters Tournament on ESPN3.com led to a nearly nine-fold increase – 787 percent among unique viewers over last year’s first round.
Tiger’s First Tee Shot on SportsCenter
Based on overnight ratings from the metered markets, SportsCenter’s live show on Thursday from 1-2 p.m. – which included live coverage of Tiger Woods’ first tee shot at 1:42 p.m. – averaged a 0.8 rating. The 0.8 rating more than doubled last year’s rating for the same one-hour window (0.3). SportsCenter’s live coverage from 1:30-1:45 p.m. delivered a 1.1 overnight rating, up 267 percent over the same time period last year (0.3).