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Tiger Woods at the Masters: A TV ratings hit unlike any other, in Chicago and nationally

Midday at the Masters was a hit with TV viewers Sunday, leaving one to wonder what kind of audience Tiger Woods’ resurrection would have drawn had weather not forced the final-round telecast to start at breakfast rather than after lunch.

Nationally, CBS’s overnight Masters ratings in the nation’s largest markets averaged a 7.7 household rating — or 7.7 percent of the TV households in the metered markets — for Woods’ first victory in a major in 11 years and first triumph at Augusta National since 2005.

That’s the highest overnight rating for a morning golf telecast since metered ratings were introduced 34 years ago, the network said.

It also was the highest-rated golf telecast since last year’s Masters, peaking with a 12.1 rating among the metered markets in the 1:15-1:30 p.m. quarter-hour. The final round of the 2018 Masters averaged an 8.7 in its regular afternoon slot.

In Chicago, the 8 a.m.-2 p.m. live telecast on CBS-2 averaged a 7.9 household rating.

The local audience peaked between 1:15 and 1:30, when 12.7 percent of the Chicago market’s TV homes — or almost 413,000 households — tuned in.

That’s a bump from last year’s Masters coverage, which began at 1 p.m. and averaged a 7.0 household rating on CBS-2, peaking at 10.0.

One local industry observer, who requested anonymity for lack of authorization to discuss these numbers, said if the weather had not forced rescheduling, the average rating for Woods’ victory likely would have been as high as 12.0, peaking with at least 20 percent of the market’s TV homes.

Nationally, a repeat of the earlier presentation beginning at 2 p.m. averaged a 3.4 household rating in the metered markets.

CBS said that made the rerun the third-highest-rated golf broadcast on any network this year. Only Saturday’s third-round Masters coverage and Sunday’s original run of final-round coverage fared better.

Combined, the two Sunday showings of the Masters averaged 11.1 percent of the TV households in the nation’s metered markets.

Twitter @phil_rosenthal

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