The Masters Most Watched Golf Telecast In Last Five Years

Over 15m watched Jon Rahm clinch the title as the tournament drew its biggest audience in five years

Jon Rahm celebrates after winning the 2023 Masters
Jon Rahm's win was watched by over 15m viewers on CBS Sports
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Masters enjoyed a huge increase in viewing figures in the US as it secured its highest audience in the last five years. 

The final round of the tournament, which saw Jon Rahm become the fourth Spaniard to wear the Green Jacket, captured the imagination of the TV watching public Stateside, as over 15m tuned into CBS Sports at the peak. That helped it become the most watched golf telecast on any network in five years, with an average of 12.058m viewers tuning into the final round, an increase of 19% over last year.

The peak came between 7pm and 7.15 ET as Rahm closed out his win, with 15.021 million viewers over that time. That’s a significant increase on the closing moments of the 2022 tournament, when 13.16m watched Scottie Scheffler claim his first Masters title.

It wasn’t just the final round of the tournament that proved popular either. Over the third and fourth rounds, a combined 16.251m viewers watched the coverage, which first saw Brooks Koepka maintain his lead before eventually succumbing to Rahm, who won by four shots.

CBS Sports wasn't the only broadcaster to report excellent viewing figures either. Sunday’s final round also became the most streamed round of golf in the history of Paramount+ as it recorded double-digit year-over-year growth across households, minutes and average minute audience compared to the 2022 tournament.

The new World No.1’s performance saw him claim the title on what would have been the 66th birthday of legendary compatriot Seve Ballesteros. However, there are other factors that are likely to have contributed to such encouraging figures. 

One of the big talking points was the appearances of LIV Golf players when, for much of last year, it was unclear whether they would be allowed to tee it up at Augusta National. Several played above expectations, too, with three finishing in the top five.

Eventually, Rahm ate into Koepka's lead over the final round, while he withheld the challenge of another LIV Golf player, Phil Mickelson, who had to settle for joint runner-up. Meanwhile, Patrick Reed finished tied for fourth, all of which added another layer of intrigue to what was already a memorable tournament.

Then there is the heightened interest in the game thanks to eight-part Netflix docuseries Full Swing, which was released less than two months before the tournament began.

Whatever the precise reasons for the increase in viewers, it is surely an encouraging sign as the season gears up for three more Majors, starting with next month’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.