• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Tiger Woods boosts Masters: most-watched golf telecast in cable history

RTR2CL79 UPDATED: The return of Tiger Woods to pro golf set a cable ratings record.

ESPN's coverage of the Masters on Thursday was not only the tournament's most-watched first-round ever, it was also the biggest audience for any cable golf telecast in history.

Masters Round 1 delivered 4.9 million viewers, surpassing the previous record-holder, the 2008 U.S. Open Championship when Woods defeated Rocco Mediate. The viewership represents a 47% climb over last year's first-round Masters coverage.

ESPN's "SportsCenter" was also about double its average, drawing a 0.8. 

The scandal-plagued pro posted his best-yet opening round score at the Masters, though still trailed Fred Couples on the board. Woods received a warm ovation from the crowd at his opening tee.

More to come ...