Masters, the TV audiences in Augusta down

"The coverage peaked at 12.562 million viewers in the last quarter-hour," when Scottie Scheffler sealed the victory, with an average of just over 8.210 million for the entire weekend's action

by Andrea Gussoni
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Masters, the TV audiences in Augusta down
© Maddie Meyer/Getty Images Sport

Scottie Scheffler's victory last weekend wasn't enough to halt the TV audience decline that has been plaguing golf, particularly the PGA Tour, since the beginning of 2024. This decline is a result of the simmering conflict stemming from the emergence of LIV Golf in June 2022.

Masters, numbers

The numbers are concerning. The drop in TV audiences for golf continues. According to the Sports Business Journal, the final round on Sunday, April 14th, at the Masters attracted 9.589 million viewers for CBS, marking a 20% decrease compared to Jon Rahm's victory in the same tournament in 2023.

Furthermore, according to the Sports Business Journal, Scottie Scheffler's victory constituted the "second-largest decline of the season" for the American broadcaster, and the lowest since 2021 when Hideki Matsuyama won his first Major tournament (also at the Masters).

"The coverage peaked at 12.562 million viewers in the last quarter-hour," when Scottie Scheffler sealed the victory, with an average of just over 8.210 million for the entire weekend's action. A Strong Start The week had started well with increased audiences during the first two rounds.

Bryson DeChambeau's successful start, combined with Tiger Woods' encouraging tournament start, attracted over 3.4 million viewers. This marked the highest level since 2018 for the first two rounds. However, it must be acknowledged that the final round did not live up to expectations, with suspense quickly extinguished by the clear favorite.

Scheffler's surge in the rankings midway through and the collapse of his rivals didn't really captivate golf fans as the Rahm-Koepka duel did last year. McIlroy Raises the Alarm... Nevertheless, the downward trend observed since the beginning of the season seems to be the norm now, especially on the PGA Tour where the figures are also plummeting.

This trend is alarming to the stakeholders themselves. It is largely a result of the emergence of LIV Golf, born in June 2022. This schism leads to the scattering of talent and the disinterest of golf fans. "If you look at the TV audiences for the PGA Tour this year, they're down 20 percent overall," Rory McIlroy stated.

"Compared to everything that's happened over the last couple of years, people are just getting fed up with it and turning away from men's professional golf. It's not good for anyone. We need to find solutions to correct all of this. It's not sustainable in the long run. 20%, that's a pretty shocking figure this year!"

Scottie Scheffler
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