SBD/Issue 144/Sports Media

Sunday Silence: CBS Wishes A Challenger Emerged For Tiger

CBS' two-day Masters coverage, from 3:30-6:45pm ET Saturday and 1:30-6:45pm ET Sunday, averaged an 8.8/19 overnight Nielsen rating, becoming the third-highest two-day Masters average ever, behind the 12.8/27 in '97 and the 10.5/23 in '01. Tiger Woods won the event in all three of those years. Sunday's overnight was a 9.9/21, down 23% from a 12.9/27 last year. Final-round coverage from 4:00pm through the Green Jacket ceremony Sunday earned a 12.1/25, also the third highest ever behind '97's 15.8/32 and '01's 12.9/27. Sunday's rating peaked between 6:00-6:30pm with a 14.1/27 overnight (THE DAILY). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Cynthia Littleton notes the "lead-in from the Masters gave CBS a healthy start in primetime," as CBS won the night with 14.9 million viewers, and earned second place in adults 18-49 with a 3.4/10 (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 4/16).

REAX: In L.A., Larry Stewart writes the "main reason" why Sunday's rating was down from last year is that the "coverage was expanded from three hours to more than five." The ratings for the final three hours Sunday was "about the same as last year" (L.A. TIMES, 4/16). Advanswers, N.Y., media buyer Tom DeCabia, on Sunday's rating: "With Tiger going in tied, everyone thought he'd win. There was no drama to hold an audience"   (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 4/15). NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay writes the decreased ratings should not "detract from CBS' effort. The production was consistently high-quality," and analyst Ken Venturi was "a good listen and accurate in predicting shots" in his farewell appearance at Augusta (NEWSDAY, 4/16).

WEB SITE A SMASH: Visitors to increased 37% over last year, as a record of almost 1.5 million unique users logged on during the tournament week and stayed on the site for an average of one-hour, fifty-four minutes. Peak traffic occurred around 3:00pm ET Friday, when 85,300 Real-Time Leader Boards were in use. The top ten requested bios were Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III, John Daly, Retief Goosen, Arnold Palmer, Sergio Garcia and Greg Norman (IBM).

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CBS, Golf, Media, Viacom

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