Putting the Poor Domestic TV Ratings from The Masters in Perspective
CBS released ratings from The Masters Final Round coverage on Sunday where Bubba Watson cruised to victory in a rather subdued back nine to capture his second green jacket by three strokes.
On Tuesday Sport Media Watch reported the Final Round coverage earned a 7.8 overnight rating down 24% from last year (10.2), and the lowest overnight for a final round since 2004 (7.3) when another lefty, Phil Mickelson, captured his first green jacket. The rating equates to ‘million’s of viewers’ meaning this year attracted 7.8 million viewers. This is well off the record in 1997 when Tiger Woods took the world by storm capturing his first Masters that attracted 15.8 million viewers to tune in.
What was not reported to give this ratings story more balance was that The Masters is now televised in over 200 countries worldwide, and in regions where golf is growing like never before. Did you know there could be in just a few years time over 40 million core golfers in China?
While the data is spotty on how many viewers actually tuned in globally to watch The Masters, you can bet that a conservative estimate would be one or two times the domestic market. When accessing the most densely populated counties in the world where golf is growing the fastest it’s China, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina and India that come to mind. Furthermore, when you convert even a subset of new golfers in those respective countries into eyeballs it becomes a significant amount that were no doubt watching golf’s most celebrated Major this past weekend.
This is the reason Augusta National Golf Club is making such efforts abroad with the recent invitation to the Asian Amateur Champion to play The Masters as they look to extend their brand worldwide and grow the game concurrently.
These are constant reminders that golf is a global game and the industry encompassing it whether it is events, golf courses, resorts or travel companies must be continually looking at the current state of the game with this mind set. In the end it’s what is going to keep it healthy and evolving.