There’s a mixed message concerning television ratings from the 2021 Masters that recently concluded with Hideki Matsuyama donning the green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.
We’ll start with the positive — numbers took a huge jump from the fall, when Dustin Johnson’s victory produced some of the worst TV numbers in the tournament’s history.
Of course, an unconventional spot on the calendar — one that pitted the Masters against the NFL and college football — likely contributed to the fall’s downward spike, but still numbers were vastly improved for the 2021 tournament.
In fact, Sunday’s final round of the Masters averaged almost 9.5 million viewers, according to Sports Media Watch, which was up nearly 70 percent from the fall.
However, the numbers are still down overall. The 2021 event pulled in 13 percent fewer viewers than the 2019 tournament and this year’s event had the second-worst viewership since 1993, when Bernhard Langer won his second Masters title by four strokes.
ESPN’s weekday coverage also brought vairied results — the opening round was up about four percent in viewership, but the second day lagged behind the fall’s numbers by about two percent.
Overall, golf ratings are up — in fact, the Players Championship in March had the highest ratings of any non-major in three years, according to Sports Media Watch.
And while the numbers for the Masters feel light, Sunday’s broadcast was still the sixth-most watched non-football sports event since the start of the pandemic.