Masters ratings suffer despite Watson's comeback

Bubba Watson's win in the 2014 Masters came amid lower television ratings on CBS and ESPN.
Bubba Watson's win in the 2014 Masters came amid lower television ratings on CBS and ESPN. ( Associated Press )

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Enthralling as Bubba Watson's shotmaking was Sunday during his Masters victory, it couldn't overcome several factors that led to a ratings drop.

CBS' broadcast of the final round from Augusta National dropped 24 percent year-over-year to a 7.8 rating, USA Today reported. It was even down from Watson's win two years ago, which drew an 8.1.

ESPN said Saturday that its Thursday and Friday telecasts averaged a 1.6 rating, down from 2.5 a year earlier. CBS' Saturday broadcast drew a 4.4, down from 6.3 a year earlier.

Tiger Woods' April 1 withdrawal from the Masters created expectations that fan interest would drop. Big names including Phil Mickelson missed the cut, while others including Rory McIlroy and defending champion Adam Scott didn't contend for the win during weekend play.