American World No.1 golfer Tiger Woods’ dramatic return to the game at the Masters Tournament played at Augusta National, was a ratings bonanza for CBS.
The final round of coverage generated the highest ratings for CBS in nine years, and was a 36% boost in viewership over last year.
The highest-rated final round of a golf tournament was the 1997 Masters, when Woods won his first Green Jacket, while the second highest-rated final round was the Masters in 2001, when Woods won his second Green Jacket, The Daily News reports.
Woods, who came in fourth in this year's tournament, has been dogged for months after admitting that he cheated on wife Elin Nordegren.
Earlier, CBS News and Sports President, Sean McManus, had said that the channel expected Wood’ return “to be the biggest media event other than the Obama inauguration in the past 10 or 15 years”.
According to ESPN, the official broadcaster of the initial rounds of the tournament, five million viewers watched Woods’ first day on field last Thursday after a scandal-hit five-month lull.
The figure was 47% above the audience for the opening day of the 2009 Masters.
“Tiger has taken sports off the sports page and put it in the front of the paper. It's like a car crash,” said Bob Gutkowski, a New York-based media consultant.
“People pull over to take a look at the car crash. That's what's going on with the Masters. These are not people who are going to stick to viewing golf, this is a unique situation, and the titillation factor is huge,” he added.