For the third consecutive year, ESPN’s live stream of the first round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club set digital viewership records. The coverage was telecast on ESPN and was streamed live from 3-7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 6.
A record streaming average minute audience of 44,585 viewers, up seven percent from 2016, included a total of 174,000 viewers (up three percent) watching 12,100,000 minutes (up eight percent), also both records for the event.
In addition, in the average minute there were nearly 24,000 people consuming golf content on ESPN’s digital platforms. The ESPN App saw more than one million unique visitors to golf content on Thursday, up 45 percent from last year, and the ESPN.com Golf section saw 1.6 million unique visitors, up 17 percent from 2016.
On television, the Masters first round telecast earned a 1.5 rating, averaging 2.129 million viewers, and peaking from 5:30-6 p.m. with a 1.7 rating, according to Nielsen Fast National numbers. Last year’s first round telecast earned a 1.7 rating, averaging 2.398 million viewers.
Greenville, S.C., was the highest rated local market for Thursday’s telecast with a 3.4 rating, followed by Orlando, Fla., at 2.9, Norfolk, Va., at 2.8, Greensboro, N.C., at 2.6 and Jacksonville, Fla., at 2.5.
Rounding out the top 10 were Oklahoma City and Memphis, tied at 2.4; and San Diego, Fort Myers, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Charlotte, N.C., and Richmond, Va., tied at 2.3.
While ESPN’s live Masters coverage ends Friday, SportsCenter and ESPN.com will continue to report from the Masters throughout the weekend.
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