US Open Overnight Ratings: Up 20% after Three Days; Network Change for Venus vs. Serena XXX Friday Night


US Open Overnight Ratings: Up 20% after Three Days; Network Change for Venus vs. Serena XXX Friday Night

  • Wednesday’s 6+-Hour Late Session Tops Action to Date with 0.8 Rating
  • Venus vs. Serena XXX – Friday 7 p.m. ET – Now on ESPN

After three long days at the US Open, tennis’ fourth and final Major event of the year, ESPN’s overnight ratings – combining ESPN and ESPN2 – are up 20%, from 0.5 to 0.6.  This covers 35.5 hours of exclusive live coverage, 2.5 more than the 33 scheduled (8% extra), thanks to late-night, long-running matches.  This year’s schedule features the US Open’s first ever “double doubleheaders” as there are scheduled night session twinbills on both Arthur Ashe Stadium and the new Louis Armstrong Stadium.

The highest-rated telecast so far was last night’s six-hour, 15-minute marathon featuring Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and more that lasted until 1:15 a.m. ET.  The telecast peaked with a 1.3 rating from 8:30 – 9:15 p.m.

The top 10 metered markets after three days:

West Palm Beach, Fla.    1.3

Columbus, Ohio              1.1

Tampa                            1.0

Washington D.C.            1.0

Norfalk, Va.                    1.0

New Orleans                   0.9

Birmingham, Ala.            0.9

Las Vegas                      0.9

New York                       0.8

Richmond, Va.                0.8


Venus vs. Serena XXX – Now on ESPN

On Friday, the action also starts at noon on ESPN, and now will stay there for the 30th meeting of sisters Venus and Serena Williams in a third round match (was to transition to ESPN2 at 6 p.m.; will now change at 9 p.m.).  The older sister, Venus, 38, is seeded #16 while Serena, 36, is #17.  It is the earliest the two have met in a Major tournament since their very first professional meeting, the Round of 64 at the 1998 Australian Open.

ESPN and the US Open

ESPN has exclusive live action of the US Open with 130 hours on television and 1,300 more streaming live on the ESPN app via ESPN+ and ESPN3.  The daily action from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will culminate with the Women’s Championship on Saturday, Sept. 8, and the Men’s Championship on Sunday, Sept. 9, both at 4 p.m.


Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)
Aug 27 – Sep 5 11 a.m. US Open – up to 16 courts ESPN+


Fri, Aug 31 Noon US Open Third Round ESPN
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Third Round

Venus Williams vs. Serena Williams

  9 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Third Round ESPN2





Dave Nagle

It was 32 years at ESPN for me as of November 2018 (the only job I’ve ever had) after joining merely to help with the America’s Cup for three months at a robust $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 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 and Indy 500; Wimbledon (11 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, in addition to overseeing the Fan Relations, Archives and, my main areas are tennis, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including ESPN’s history and growth.