Tiger Woods' Comeback Gives ESPN’s Masters Coverage 21% Boost in Viewers

Tiger Woods plays his shot from the first tee during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2022, in Augusta, Georgia.
(Image credit: Keyur Khamar/PGA Tour via Getty Images)

Tiger Woods’ comeback from injury to play in the Masters golf tournament on Thursday gave ESPN’s coverage a 21% increase in viewership from last year.

ESPN’s telecast averaged 2.8 million viewers, peaking between 4:15 p.m. and 4:29 p.m. when Woods played his final hole of the round.

Woods finished the first day of competition one under par. Wood was severely injured in a car accident last year.

The Masters also generated the most viewed day of golf on ESPN Plus, ESPN said. 

Viewership also grew for SportsCenter at the Masters, which ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m on Thursday leading into the network’s live coverage. The program averaged 801,000 viewers, with an average of 1.2 million between 2-3 p.m. Viewership was up 149% over 2021 and 120% over 2019. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.