With an average of 4.1 million people watching, ESPN’s live telecast of the 2012 Masters Tournament on Friday, April 6, was the most-viewed Friday coverage ever for the event and the third-largest audience ever to watch golf on cable.
According to fast national data from the Nielsen Company, ESPN’s telecast earned a 3.3 household coverage rating, matching the 2010 record for ESPN’s highest-rated Friday coverage of the Masters. The rating was up 14 percent from a 2.9 for last year’s Friday telecast.
The viewership average of 4.1 million for Friday’s coverage of second round Masters play was up from the 3.5 million average for last year’s event and exceeded the previous Friday record of 3.9 million that was set in 2010.
The viewership for the 2012 Friday telecast ranks third all-time for golf audiences on cable, exceeded only by ESPN’s coverage of Thursday play in the 2010 Masters (4.9 million) and ESPN’s telecast of the 2008 U.S. Open playoff (4.8 million).
ESPN’s two-day average rating for the Masters was a 2.8, an increase of 12 percent from last year’s 2.5, while the average viewership for the two days was up from 3 million in 2011 to 3.4 million in 2012.