The Masters’ tagline of ‘a tradition unlike any other’ had never been truer heading into the 2020 edition. It was no secret that this year’s Masters was going to be much different than any of the past. With the tournament being pushed from April to November and with no patrons allowed on the ground at Augusta National, the 2020 Masters was expected to be strange and it was.
The uniqueness of this year’s tournament translated over into the TV ratings on Sunday as well, and not in a good way.
The Masters was still great to watch. Golf fans are going to tune into the Masters no matter what, but it did lack drama. With no patrons and the fact that the tournament was essentially over by the time Dustin Johnson made the turn on Sunday, it wasn’t necessarily ‘must-watch’ TV. Add that to the fact that the early NFL games kicked off during the final round and you have a perfect recipe for the ratings declining 51% from Tiger Woods’ win in 2019.
Masters ratings and viewership over the past 25 years: pic.twitter.com/w1YWDF4qty
— Sports Media Watch (@paulsen_smw) November 17, 2020
The 2020 Masters certainly isn’t the only major sporting event to take a major hit in the rating department this year. The NBA Finals ratings were laughably bad while the Stanley Cup Final posted an all-time low number as well.
It’s no secret that the NBA’s ratings took at least some sort of hit after promoting social justice messaging, which translated into some people believing the league embraced certain political beliefs, but the Masters didn’t go down any of those avenues. Whether it be from a lack of drama late on Sunday or the NFL flexing its muscle, the ratings were bad during the final round.