Sergio Garcia's sudden death playoff victory over Justin Rose at the 2017 Masters tournament was riveting TV. But TV viewers didn't seem to agree, as CBS Sports' coverage of Sunday's final round fell to a 13-year low.
Final round coverage of Garcia's first major championship victory drew a 7.6 overnight TV rating, according to Sports Media Watch. That's down 11 percentfrom the 8.5 overnight for Danny Willett's 3-shot win in 2016 and off 21 percentfrom Jordan Spieth's victory in 2015.
It was the lowest final round overnight since Phil Mickelson's win in 2004, which was impacted by Easter Sunday.
What happened? For one thing, Tiger Woods was injured and MIA as usual. Plus, TV favorites such as Mickelson and Spieth fell by the wayside.
Ultimately, a tournament duel between two European stars didn't grab American viewers.
Another comp on the 7.6 overnight for The Masters: the last playoff at Augusta, 2013, drew a 10.2 for Adam Scott's win over Angel Cabrera
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) April 10, 2017
Via Sports Media Watch:
Going back further, the 7.6 is the second-lowest for final round coverage of the event since at least 1995, the first year Tiger Woods entered the field. Four of the five lowest overnights since ’95 have come in the past five years, with three of those in years when Woods missed the event due to injury — this year, last year and 2014 (7.8). Overnights steadily rose during the final portion of the telecast, rising from 8.0 (6-6:30 PM ET) to 9.1 (6:30-7 PM) to the peak of 11.2 (7-7:30 PM). Last year’s peak quarter-hour was not immediately available for comparison.
Third round action on Saturday pulled a 4.6 overnight, down 19% from last year (5.7) and down 29% from 2015 (6.5). The 4.6 ranks ahead of only 2014 (4.4) as the lowest for any round of The Masters on CBS since at least 1995. Saturday coverage peaked at a 5.0 from 6-6:30 PM. Beyond the absence ofTiger Woods, a major factor this weekend was an unusual dip in households using televisions. HUT levels were down 10% on Saturday and 9% on Sunday. Despite the lower numbers, The Masters still reigns supreme as by far the most popular golf event. Final round overnights doubled those of the U.S. Open last June (3.8) and topped last year’s British Open by 95% (3.9).