@ESPNTennis & US Open: Serena vs. Venus XXVII Earns 4.8 Rating

Tennis

@ESPNTennis & US Open: Serena vs. Venus XXVII Earns 4.8 Rating

·         Much-Anticipated Meeting Peaks at 5.6; Serena only Two Wins from Grand Slam
·         Entire 5+-hour Telecast Scores a 2.7 Overnight Rating – ESPN’s Second Best for Tennis
·         2.7 Rating only Exceeded by 2012 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final where Federer Defeated Murray (3.1)
·         Tuesday Sets Tennis Record for WatchESPN for Third Time during US Open

Last night’s US Open quarterfinal on ESPN –the much-anticipated 27th meeting between top-seeded Serena Williams and No. 23 Venus Williams –earned a 4.8 rating, peaking at a 5.6 from 10-10:15 p.m. ET. The entire 5:15 telecast (including a second match, Novak Djokovic over Feliciano Lopez) scored a 2.7 from Nielsen’s metered markets, the second best for tennis in ESPN history (any ESPN network). The only higher overnight rating for tennis was the 2012 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship – Roger Federer over Andy Murray – with a 3.1. The 2.7 is 145% higher than the 1.1 earned by the same time slot last year.

Among the metered markets, West Palm Beach led the way with a 4.8 for the entire telecast, followed by New York (4.7), Atlanta (4.5), Richmond (4.1) and Washington DC (4.0) Eleven markets set a new high for tennis on an ESPN network: New Orleans, Raleigh-Durham, Miami, Louisville, Birmingham, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Sacramento and Nashville.

It was also a record day for tennis on WatchESPN – the third of the US Open to date – with 612,000 users totaling 44.8 million minutes viewed. The previous best came Monday, with 447,000 users and 40.3 million minutes.

The victory leaves Serena just two wins shy of a true (calendar year) Grand Slam – a sweep of the sport’s four Major events – not accomplished since Steffi Graf in 1988. The women’s semifinals – including Williams vs. unseeded 32-year old Roberta Vinci – are on ESPN on Thursday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. The women’s championship is Saturday at 3 p.m.; the men’s semifinals – including No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 9 Marin Cilic, defending a Major title for the first time – are Friday at 3 p.m. with the championship Sunday at 4 p.m. – all on ESPN.

ESPN3’s offering of all televised courts – plus a feed in Spanish – is supplemented through the finals by the “US Open Chase Review Multicam” for matches on Ashe – an iso-cam on each player and the traditional TV production.

ESPN has televised the US Open since 2009. An 11-year agreement with the USTA for exclusivity was announced in May 2013. A complete look at ESPN’s plans for the 2015 US Open including the daily schedule ( http://es.pn/1ECwZws ), a look at new technology ( http://es.pn/1MzW0yM ) and a conference call on programming and production plans (  http://es.pn/1PoHn0D ).

ESPN & the 2015 US Open

Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)
Wed Sep 9 10:40 a.m.

11 a.m.

US Open Quarterfinals ESPN3

ESPN

  8 p.m. US Open Men’s Quarterfinals ESPN2
Thur Sep 10 Noon

7 p.m.

US Open Doubles Matches

US Open Women’s Semifinals

ESPN3

ESPN

Fri Sep 11 Noon US Open Mixed Doubles Championship ESPN3
  3 p.m. US Open Men’s Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3
Sat Sep 12 Noon US Open Men’s Doubles Championship ESPN3
  3 p.m. US Open Women’s Championship ESPN / ESPN3

ESPN Deportes

Sun Sep 13 Noon US Open Women’s Doubles Championship ESPN3
  3:30 p.m. 2015 US Open Men’s Championship Preview ESPN
  4 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship ESPN

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Dave Nagle

As I write this on 11-11-21, it's now 35 years for me at ESPN, the only real job I’ve ever had. I joined merely to help with the upcoming America’s Cup in Australia. I was told it would be for three months at all of $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville, Darlington, Indy and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals, Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, my main areas are tennis, UFC, boxing, network-wide ratings (by month/quarter/year), and corporate communications documents, including fact sheets, chronologies, lists and nearly 35 of the Year in Review press releases. UPDATE EXACTLY ONE YEAR LATER: Today, November 11, 2022, I am retiring from ESPN -- 36 years to the day I began. As I ride off into the sunset – top down and E Street Radio blaring – I do so with so many wonderful memories, proud of my contributions and a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity. 
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