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Woods Win Boosts Masters Ratings

People watch when Tiger Woods wins, even if there's little drama. That's what happened at the Masters.
CBS's telecast of his second straight title at Augusta National drew a 9.9 overnight rating from 1:30-6:45 p.m. ET Sunday. That's at least 40 percent higher than the final-round rating for the three prior majors -- when Woods finished back in the pack.
For the first time, Augusta allowed CBS to show coverage of the leaders on all 18 holes Sunday.
Sunday's Masters overnight rating was 23 percent lower than '01, when the coverage was from 4-7 p.m. This year's rating for the last three hours showed only a six percent drop.
The average overnight rating for the final two rounds of the Masters was 8.8; in the network's 47 years of airing the event, that was bettered only by the other times Woods won.
The Saturday-Sunday average was 10.5 last year, when Woods held off challenges from David Duval and Phil Mickelson to wrap up his fourth straight major title. The two-day record of 12.8 came in '97, when Woods claimed his first green jacket.
Overnight ratings measure the country's 53 largest TV markets, covering about 65 percent of the country. Each ratings point represents one percent of TV homes in those markets. National ratings are expected to be released Tuesday.
Woods entered this year's final round tied for the lead with Retief Goosen and followed closely by several top players. But Woods put it away with a few early birdies while no one mounted a challenge, and he wound up beating Goosen by three strokes.
The Masters rating was more than three times what NBC drew for its regular-season NBA coverage Sunday afternoon.
Woods' unprecedented success brought new fans, sponsors and TV money to golf. But his mini-slump in Grand Slam events after the Masters last year was accompanied by fewer viewers.
In 2001, when Woods scrambled to make the cut and tied for 29th in the PGA Championship, the overnight TV ratings for the final round on CBS slumped 36 percent from '00, when he won. At the British Open on ABC, defending champion Woods tied for 25th, and the ratings were the lowest in five years, off 39 percent from '00. At the U.S. Open on NBC, where Woods was 12th a year after winning, final-round ratings dropped 11 percent.
The Masters rating Sunday was far better than each of those past three majors drew: 41 percent higher than the U.S. Open, 55 percent higher than the PGA Championship, 115 percent higher than the British Open.
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