ESPN Sets Nielsen Records with Masters' Second-Round Coverage4/07/2012 6:15 PM Eastern
ESPN put up the third-best number for golf on cable with its second-round coverage of the 2012 Masters.
The worldwide leader's April 6 presentation from Augusta National Golf Club stroked a 3.3 household rating and 4.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen fast national data. That's the largest Friday audience ever for The Masters.
Moreover, viewership for the telecast ranks third all-time for golf on cable, surpassed only by ESPN's coverage of Thursday play at the 2010 Masters, which holed an audience of 4.9 million and the worldwide leader's telecast of the 2008 U.S. Open playoff, when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate before 4.8 million watching at home.
The 3.3 cable rating, which matched the 2010 mark for ESPN's highest-rated Friday coverage of The Masters, was up 14% from the same day at the 2011 Grand Slam event, while the audience rose 17% from the 3.5 million viewers a year ago.
Over its two days of live coverage, ESPN posted a 2.8 rating, up 12% from 2011's 2.5 mark, with viewership ahead 13.3% to 3.4 million from 3 million at last year's tourney. On April 5, the sports programming leader notched a 2.3 rating and 2.66 million watchers.
While CBS provides the broadcast vista, ESPN 3D Network will have a live telecast of the final round of the Masters on Sunday from 4 p.m.-7 p.m.( ET) as Peter Hanson tries to win his first major and stave off Phil Mickelson, who is one shot off the Swede's pace, from being fitted for a fourth Green Jacket.