ESPN Earns Five-Year Highest Rating, Audience for Masters First Round
ESPN's live telecast of the first round of the 2015 Masters Tournament on Thursday, April 9, attracted the largest audience and highest rating for the first round since the record-setting 2010 telecast, according to Nielsen Media fast national data.
The telecast earned a 2.2 rating and averaged 3.218 million viewers, easily surpassing last year's 1.5 rating and average audience of 2.006 million. The 2010 Masters first-round telecast on ESPN earned a 3.4 rating and averaged 4.936 million viewers, the second-largest golf audience ever on cable.
Among local markets, Columbus, Ohio, and West Palm Beach, Fla., led the nation's metered markets with a 4.2 rating for the telecast, with Greenville, S.C., third at 4.0 and Jacksonville, Fla., and Oklahoma City tied for fourth at 3.9.
Rounding out the top 10 were Greensboro, N.C., at 3.6 and Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Las Vegas and Norfolk, Va., at 3.5.
Thursday coverage of the Masters on WatchESPN across platforms reached 234,000 unique viewers that spent 10.5 million minutes watching live, up 263 percent and 175 percent compared to the previous year and a record high for the Masters on WatchESPN. Across all ESPN digital platforms, Masters content drew an average minute audience of 18,000 on Thursday alone, up 79 percent.
While ESPN's live Masters coverage ends Friday, SportsCenter and ESPN.com will continue to report from the Masters throughout the weekend.