ESPN’s live telecast of the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday, April 7, averaged 2.8 million viewers, a 21 percent increase over last year and ESPN’s largest first round audience since 2018.
Also on Thursday, ESPN+ had its most viewed-day of golf ever as fans tuned in to watch Tiger Woods’ return to the Masters, his first time at the event since being severely injured in a car accident in early 2021. Woods’ full round was included in live streaming Featured Groups coverage on ESPN+.
The telecast on ESPN, which began at 3 p.m. ET and concluded at 7:56 p.m., peaked at 3.6 million average viewers between 4:15 p.m. and 4:29 p.m. as Woods played the final hole of his round. Most of Woods’ round on Thursday had already been completed when ESPN’s telecast began.
The television audience was up from the 2,331,000 average viewership for last year’s first round telecast.
Streaming coverage of Featured Holes and Featured Groups (highlighted by the Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Joaquin Niemann group) during the first round on ESPN+ led to the most-viewed day of golf ever on the industry-leading sports streaming service.
Live streaming coverage of Featured Groups and Featured Holes (Holes 4, 5 and 6, Amen Corner and Holes 15 and 16) continues on ESPN+ all day, each day of the Tournament.
Viewership also grew strongly for SportsCenter at the Masters, which aired from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on ESPN on Thursday leading up to the live coverage and included in-progress highlights, analysis and updates. The only place on U.S. television viewers could see Masters golf shots, the program averaged 801,000 viewers, including an average of 1.2 million between 2-3 p.m. The viewership was up 149 percent over 2021 and 120 percent over 2019.
In addition to the live streaming coverage on ESPN+, SportsCenter and ESPN.com will continue to report from the Masters throughout the weekend.
Andy Hall / [email protected] / 321-402-3365
Kevin Ota / [email protected] / 860-839-7834
Olivia Wilson / [email protected] / 904-303-3538