Masters: TV rankings decline sharply regardless of Scottie Scheffler’s win


The numbers are in from the 2024 Masters Match, and they need to fear everybody related with the game.

CBS Sports activities drew 9.589 viewers for the ultimate spherical at Augusta Nationwide, a 20% lower from when Jon Rahm triumphed a season in the past, in keeping with Josh Carpenter of Sports activities Enterprise Journal.

Scottie Scheffler’s historic win this yr had the bottom rankings of any Masters since 2021, when Hideki Matsuyama’s first main victory drew 9.450 million.

However these numbers are nothing new to skilled golf in 2024.

“When you take a look at the TV rankings of the PGA Tour this yr, they’re down 20 % throughout the board. That’s a fifth. That’s huge… 20 %’s a reasonably jarring quantity.” McIlroy mentioned forward of the Valero Texas Open.

Scottie Scheffler, The Masters

Scottie Scheffler and caddie Ted Scott have fun on the 18th inexperienced after profitable the 2024 Masters.
Photograph by Warren Little/Getty Photos

“I’d say the numbers on LIV aren’t nice both when it comes to the folks tuning in. I simply assume with the preventing and the whole lot that’s gone on over the previous couple of years, individuals are simply getting actually fatigued from it. It’s turning folks off males’s skilled golf, and that’s not an excellent factor for anybody.”

The numbers don’t lie.

The PGA Tour-LIV Golf divide has turned many followers away whereas creating loads of infighting amongst gamers, followers, and pundits alike. LIV has taken most of the tour’s high expertise away, most notably Jon Rahm, the defending Masters champion, who jettisoned to the Saudi-backed circuit for greater than $400 million in December.

However this previous week, not like some other occasion thus far in 2024, LIV golfers performed alongside PGA Tour stars. 13 gamers from LIV Golf teed it up, with Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Smith, and Tyrrell Hatton contending. Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, and Rahm additionally created some pleasure, however it didn’t translate to widespread curiosity.

As a substitute, folks tuned away from The Masters, which usually attracts the biggest viewers of any golf match annually.

Nonetheless, McIlroy, who has known as for a unification between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, predicted this risk forward of his solo third-place end at TPC San Antonio.

Rory McIlroy, The Masters

Rory McIlroy on the sixth gap in the course of the third spherical of the 2024 Masters.
Photograph by Jamie Squire/Getty Photos

“If the numbers aren’t nearly as good, it’s an argument to say we have to put everybody again collectively as a result of individuals are dropping curiosity within the recreation even when they don’t need to tune in to the 4 main championships,” McIlroy hypothesized on Apr. 3.

“Issues want a correction, and issues are unsustainable as a result of I’m shut with NBC and the individuals who actually care about this stuff and the individuals who tune in to look at golf.”

Just one match on the PGA Tour this yr has seen a year-to-year enhance in rankings. That will be The American Categorical, which noticed Nick Dunlap develop into the primary newbie to win on tour since Mickelson did so in 1991.

It took a historic prevalence for the tour to see positive factors, a large drawback.

Even Scheffler’s unprecedented title protection at TPC Sawgrass didn’t produce a rankings enhance in March, one thing that ought to concern PGA Tour brass. Scheffler’s masterful 8-under 64 on Sunday led him to complete one stroke forward of Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman, in what many known as the most effective match of the yr.

But, that drew solely 3.5 million viewers, down from 4.1 million a season in the past.

The numbers don’t lie, and they’re screaming to everybody that skilled golf is in dire straits.

Jack Milko is a golf employees author for SB Nation’s Enjoying By. Make sure you try @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You’ll be able to comply with him on Twitter @jack_milko as nicely.