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Masters Ratings Down 20 Percent

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Despite a thrilling final-hole victory by Phil Mickelson, television ratings for Sunday's final round of the Masters were down more than 20 percent.
CBS' final-round coverage, from 1:30-6:28 p.m., earned a preliminary national household rating of 7.3. The 2003 Masters, won by Mike Weir in a playoff with Len Mattiace, had a 9.3, 21 percent better.
This year's broadcast peaked with a 10.1 rating from 5:30-6 p.m., when Mickelson and Ernie Els made several dramatic shots over the final holes of the tournament, including Mickelson's birdie putt on No. 18 that gave him his first win in a major. Still, the peak was down from last year's high of 12.4 during the one-hole playoff.
Coverage of this year's final round started an hour earlier than usual, at 1:30 p.m., because of possible inclement weather, and ended about a half-hour earlier.
Like last year, the tournament was aired without commercials.
Two times before the network broadcast the final round on Easter Sunday, earning a 6.8 for Bernhard Langer's win in 1993 (4-7 p.m.) and a 10.2 for Mark O'Meara's final-hole victory in 1998 (4-7:15 p.m.). Sunday's coverage earned a 9.0 over a similar period - 4-6:28 p.m.
CBS only began televising all 18 holes on Sunday two years ago.
CBS' two-day coverage earned a preliminary national rating of 6.7, compared to last year's 6.9.
The rating is the percentage of all homes with TVs, whether or not they are in use.
The ratings for the first two days of the tournament - highlighted by Arnold Palmer's emotional exit from Augusta - on USA were up 34 percent. The network earned a national household rating of 2.3, up from 1.7 in 2003. The first two days were seen in an average of 2.1 million households.
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