CBS PLEASED WITH MASTERS RATINGS, DESPITE DROP FROM '97
Published April 14, 1998
CBS's coverage of Sunday's final round of The Masters earned a 9.9/26 rating, making it the fourth-highest final round ever, and the second-highest this decade. Saturday's third round coverage scored a 6.9/19, the second-highest Saturday rating ever for the event. CBS's coverage of The Masters won every half-hour on both days (CBS). Sunday's rating was down 37% from last year's 15.8/32, which was the highest ever (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/14). CBS's two-day average of 8.6, although down 33% from '97, was the second-highest rating for The Masters since '86 (USA TODAY, 4/14). REVIEWS & REAX: CBS is receiving generally positive reviews for its coverage. In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes that the tournament "provided incredible drama. And CBS coverage captured every ounce of it" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/14). In Toronto, Rob Longley called CBS's new strategy of "having [Ken] Venturi carry most of the analysis, interacting with the respective announcers on each hole ... a stroke of genius." Longley: "Mercifully, CBS eased up on its tendency to over-hype Tiger Woods" (TORONTO SUN, 4/13). In Detroit, Steve Crowe wrote on the coverage under the header, "CBS Makes The Right Call Staying Out Of The Woods" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/13). But in N.Y., Richard Sandomir cites CBS's sparse coverage of Woods on Sunday and writes, "No wonder Sunday's ... rating fell" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/14). ACROSS THE USA: USA Network's second round coverage of The Masters on Friday got a 3.9 rating, which USA states makes it the most watched live golf event in the history of cable TV. The net broke its own record of 3.6, set for last year's second round coverage of The Masters. Thursday's coverage earned a 3.1, the highest first round rating ever. The two-day average of 3.5 was up 17% over '97 (USA).