Day One of Masters Tournament Scores for ESPN

ESPN’s coverage of the Masters Tournament’s first round Thursday earned a 2.8 fast national rating and drew 2.749 million homes and 3.366 million viewers. Those figures were up 27%, 32% and 38%, respectively, from the network’s first-round coverage last year.

Thursday’s coverage represented the fourth-most-viewed golf telecast in cable history, trailing the 2008 U.S. Open Playoff, the 2008 Friday Masters and the Masters of April 10, 1998.

As for ESPN.com, golf-content traffic for the first day of the Masters and the 10 previous days was up 36% in terms of visitors and 35% in terms of visits. And participation in the ESPN.com Masters Best Ball Challenge fantasy game rose 71% over last year.

Live streaming coverage of round one on ESPN360.com more than tripled, up 208% in total hours viewed versus 2008, and ESPN360.com saw a 28% increase in total streams and an average time spent streaming of 57 minute), up 138% over last year.