ESPN Records Best Friday at Masters with 4.2 Million Viewers

With a jammed leader board that included Tiger Woods, ESPN’s live telecast of the 2013 Masters Tournament on April 12 marked its highest-rated and most-viewed Friday with the event.

ESPN averaged a 3.5 household rating, according to Nielsen fast national data, up 6% from the previous mark of 3.3 recorded last year and in 2010. Viewership rose 4% to a record 4.2 million from the 4.1 million mark set a year ago.  

The audience for the April 12 telecast was cable's fourth-largest ever with the sport, exceeded only by ESPN’s coverage of Thursday play during the 2010 Masters (4.9 million, when Woods made his return to golf); its telecast of Tiger's triumph over Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open playoff (4.8 million); and the worldwide leader’s presentation of the final round of The Open Championship in 2012 (4.227 million).

On the demo side, ESPN, as was the case with its first-round tourney coverage on Thursday, notched a double-digit rise with young viewers: 20% among persons 18 to 34 and 25% with males of that age.

ESPN’s two-day averaged a 2.9 rating for The Masters was a 2.9, up 4% from last year’s 2.8. The average audience also grew 4% to 3.5 million from 3.4 million in 2012. The two-day viewership average was ESPN’s second-highest for The Masters, surpassed only by the 4.4 million for Woods’s return in 2010.

The ESPN 3D Network will present a live telecast of the final round of The Masters on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (ET).