NBC hopes to cash in on 'Tiger Impact' before Masters

Tiger Woods (Getty Photographs)

Tiger Woods nonetheless attracts sports TV viewers like no different golfer. Given the robust numbers CBS Sports activities and Golf Channel generated round his look in The Honda Basic, NBC Sports activities is praying Woods performs in March before the Masters.

Woods completed tied for twelfth at The Honda Basic, however CBS was a winner. The community’s Sunday last-spherical protection averaged four million viewers, a forty three % improve from NBC’s protection final yr.

Woods has performed in three tournaments, all proven by CBS, in early 2018: The Honda Basic, the Genesis Open and the Farmers Insurance coverage Open. With Woods offering glimpses of the previous free-swinging Tiger who dominated the PGA Tour, CBS’s protection averaged three.three million viewers and a 2.1 score, up 14 % and eleven %, respectively, from final yr.

MORE: Woods keen to expertise Masters ‘rush’  

With the “Tiger Impact” kicking in, CBS pulled its highest viewership/TV scores in 5 years. 

Woods’ comeback helped the Golf Channel, too. Its reside Friday protection averaged 829,000 viewers, making it probably the most-watched Honda early spherical in 15 years. The cable channel’s lead-in protection of Sunday’s remaining spherical averaged 1.6 million viewers, making it the the fourth most-watched lead-in telecast by the NBC-owned community in 10 years.  

“He would be the largest identify in sports, matched solely by Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali,” former CBS Sports activities president Neal Pilson  informed Golf Digest after the Farmers Insurance coverage Open. “Does he nonetheless transfer the needle? The reply is sure.”

NBC Sports activities is taking up PGA Tour broadcast protection starting Thursday with the World Golf Championship-Mexico Championship. It and sister internet Golf Channel will air 5 weeks of unique event protection before CBS returns for the Masters on April 5. 

The Peacock Community, which simply completed airing the 2018 Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang, South Korea, can solely hope Woods needs to play some tune-up tournaments before his dramatic return to Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership, the place he has captured 4 inexperienced jackets.

WATCH: Tiger’s shot hits goose at Honda Basic

Woods hasn’t stated whether or not he’ll play  between The Honda Basic and the Masters, however Golf Digest speculated he’ll tee it up on the Arnold Palmer Invitational from March 15-18 at Bay Hill, the place he has gained eight occasions. Woods might additionally play in the Valspar Championship (March eight-eleven).

Requested after his closing spherical at The Honda Basic  what’s forward for him before the yr’s first main event, the world’s former No. 1 participant stated: “I feel that I want to return in the fitness center once more and begin coaching. The physique feels good. I simply want to hold it feeling good. I am going to get again to the fitness center and maintain it robust. I felt like I made an enormous leap this week. I actually hit it nicely.”