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Tiger Woods delivered Masters ratings for CBS, despite early start time

Sunday’s final round at the Masters was as dramatic as it was early. Tiger Woods won his first major in 11 years, and yet all the suspense was wrapped up by the middle of the afternoon, thanks to a weather forecast that moved up the start of the round by a few hours, with threesomes going off the first and 10th tees.

The result for CBS, which televised the tournament, was a mixed bag. The overall TV ratings were down from last year, but considering the time slot — millions fewer people are watching TV Sunday morning than in the late afternoon or evening, when the tournament is usually decided — the Woods bump was still powerful.

CBS reported an average overnight rating of 7.7 with a 21 share in metered-market households, meaning fewer than eight percent of TV households were watching the coverage, but more than 20 percent of households watching TV at the time were tuned into the Masters. The broadcast peaked at a 12.1 rating from 2:15-2:30 p.m., when Woods, who was in the final group, was playing the 18th hole.

CBS’s 2018 Masters coverage, which stretched late into Sunday afternoon, delivered an 8.7/18 share as Patrick Reed outdueled Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth for the green jacket. That broadcast peaked at 11.0. That rating represented an 18 percent jump over 2017′s 7.6 rating, which was down 17 percent from 2016.

The top five markets for Sunday’s coverage were:

Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville, N.C. (13.8/27)

Minneapolis (13.2/38)

Fort Myers, Fla. (13.0/29)

West Palm Beach, Fla. (12.5/27)

Jacksonville, Fla. (11.2/25)

Sunday’s round, according to CBS, was also the highest-rated morning golf telecast going back for the 34 years that Nielsen data is available. Morning telecasts encompass any event starting before noon, which includes golf broadcasts of the British Open and Ryder Cup.

Woods’s return to prominence bodes well for any network in the golf business. There was not a bounty to be made in advertising sales Sunday for CBS — the vast majority of ads were sold before it was clear Woods would be in contention — but moving forward and potentially for next year’s Masters, the network can sell ads at rates that price-in Woods’s expected contention and America’s interest in him.

Read more from The Post:

Tiger Woods completes a Masterpiece of a comeback

Tiger Woods, golf prodigal, returns with a roar. It will be ages before another day like this.

As his opponents found Rae’s Creek at No. 12, Tiger Woods found new life

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