Tiger Burning Bright: Masters Lit Up Multiple Screens Last Weekend


I admit it. I am worse than a fair weather sports fan. Just about the only thing that will get me to tune into a live sporting event is a super-high-profile moment of drama that even my mother would understand. Except when it comes to Tiger. Fallen, muddied, sullied and shamed as Tiger Woods may be, even this golf ignoramus recalls that magical Masters over a decade ago when we all watched Woods make that historic, unchallenged march: a 12-stroke win at the 1997 Masters. So when a stray headline caught my eye Sunday afternoon that Tiger was back in the hunt, I used the Internet for what God intended, second screen viewing. I mean, come on, I was in the middle of reviewing the Blu-ray release of Mad Men Season 4, and Don and Duck were staring each other down before brawling. I wasn't pausing that.

While I may have been the only one around slavishly devoted to my Mad Men fix that afternoon, I clearly was not alone in rushing to the Web and CBS/The Masters' live feed. The Masters Live traffic at on Sunday was up 112% over the same day last year, according to a Tweet the company posted yesterday at CBSSportsPR. Overall traffic increased 33% for the full run of live second screen telecasts. No word on the mobile piece of this, which was also accessible from The Masters apps on iPhone and iPad.

According to CBS, the time spent viewing the live feed averaged 72 minutes per session this year.

Between April 7 and 10 CBS was serving more than 75 hours of live programming across three channels on the Web. There was coverage of the Amen Corner (holes 11, 12, 13), holes 5 and 16, and a channel focusing on a featured group of players through their play of holes 10-18. A Masters Live recap show was also provided live after the Saturday and Sunday rounds and then on demand online.

We have to imagine Tiger Woods is a bit more gratified by the online rush to his ultimately unsuccessful charge this year than his record traffic numbers from last year. On the first day of the 2010 Masters, coming off a scandal and a hiatus, more than half a million people came to the Masters Live site from the office to see Tiger back in action. 
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