ESPN Round 1 Masters ratings soar 40 percent over 2017

Tiger Woods waves to the Masters gallery on the 16. (Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports) Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Round 1 Masters ratings soar 40 percent over 2017

Golf on TV

ESPN Round 1 Masters ratings soar 40 percent over 2017

The Tiger Effect continues to deliver big audience boosts to golf telecasts.

Thursday, the Masters Round 1 telecast on ESPN earned a 2.2 overnight rating, the highest for the first round since 2015. The rating was up 40 percent over 2017 and 16 percent over 2016, according to The Worldwide Leader.

It was the highest Thursday rating since a 2.4 overnight in 2015, the last year Woods competed in the event and when most of his round was included in the telecast. The ESPN telecast Thursday featured only the final three holes of Woods’ first round. The Friday ESPN telecast of the second round – which begins at 3 p.m. Eastern – will feature a majority of Woods’ 18 holes.

Woods tees off at 1:27 p.m.

The coverage aired Tursday from 3 p.m. until 7:20 p.m. ET with the rating peaking at a 2.4 between 6:15-7 p.m, the network said.

Louisville led all metered markets with a 4.8 rating. Tampa-St. Petersburg and Orlando earned a 3.7.

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