CBS PLEASED WITH MASTERS RATINGS, DESPITE DROP FROM '97
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).