Charl Schwartzel’s win Sunday at the Masters drew an average of 15.2 million viewers to the telecast.
That was down from last year’s 16.6 million final round coverage when Phil Mickelson took home the green jacket. More than Mickelson’s win, however, the big attraction of the 2010 tournament was the return of Tiger Woods, who had been mired in controversy after his extramarital affairs were revealed.
Woods began Sunday seven behind leader Rory McIlroy and then made a tremendous charge in the front nine to put him in contention. At one point, he was tied for the lead.
Woods’ resurgence brought in viewers, who might not have had an interest in watching, to suddenly tune in.
CBS has long been home of the Masters and has an exclusive deal with the Augusta National Golf Club. Only four minutes of advertising are allowed for each hour of the broadcast. Sponsors this year were Exxon Mobil, AT&T and IBM.