via press release:
Ratings, Audience Rise for ESPN’s Friday Masters Coverage
ESPN’s live coverage of the 2011 Masters Tournament on Friday, April 8, from 3-7:30 p.m. averaged 3,500,000 viewers with a 2.9 rating based on fast nationals, according to the Nielsen Company. The ratings and audience grew from Thursday’s opening round telecast, which earned a 2.1 rating and averaged 2,550,000 viewers.
With Tiger Woods making a charge into contention at Augusta National Golf Club, and much of his round falling within ESPN’s 4.5 hour telecast window, ratings and viewership matched ESPN’s 2009 Friday Masters coverage. The 2010 coverage, which featured Woods’ return to golf, set a record on the first day for the most-viewed golf telecast in cable history, and last year’s Friday coverage continued that momentum with a 3.3 rating and an average of 3,900,000 viewers.
In ESPN’s four years of Masters coverage, ratings for Friday have remained consistent in the 2.9-3.3 range. The telecasts of the first two rounds this year were an hour longer each day than in the past three years, and a this year’s Friday telecast earned a 3.1 rating from 4-7:30 p.m., the timeslot for 2008-2010.