US Open on ESPN: Most-Watched since 2015

Tennis

US Open on ESPN: Most-Watched since 2015

ESPN’s presentation of the US Open was seen by an average of 1,036,000 viewers (P2+), up 9% from last year (949,000) and the most for the event since 2015, ESPN’s first year of exclusivity (1,265,000).  Three of this year’s telecasts rank in the top 10 of ESPN’s all-time 226 US Open telecasts, starting in 2009:

  • The most-watched telecast this year was the Women’s Championship on September 8 – Naomi Osaka defeating Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 – which earned a 1.9 rating and an average of 3,101,000 viewers, ranking third all-time. It is the most-watched US Open Women’s Championship in ESPN’s four years covering the whole tournament.
  • At #7, the Men’s Championship on September 9 – Novak Djokovic winning his third US Open and 14th Major title over Juan Martin del Potro – posted a 1.3 rating with an average of 2,065,000 viewers. It is the most-watched US Open Men’s Championship since 2015.
  • Ranking eighth on ESPN’s list, the August 31 Third Round match between Venus and Serena Williams drew a 1.2 rating, averaging 1,965,000 viewers.

Overall, ESPN presented 156 hours of television from the US Open, 13% more than the scheduled 137, thanks to late-night tennis running past the scheduled telecast window (eight nights went past midnight ET).

The 10 highest-rated markets for the US Open were West Palm Beach (1.9), Washington DC (1.6), Richmond (1.4), New York (1.3) tied for fourth with Norfolk and Tampa, New Orleans (1.2), Columbus (OH) and Atlanta (1.1) and San Francisco (1.0).

 

ESPN and Tennis

Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air, providing numerous memorable moments from around the world, but it has never been as important as today, with the unprecedented position of presenting three of the sports Major events from start to finish (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open, with exclusivity at the latter two.

 

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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 ESPNPressRoom.com, my main areas are tennis, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including ESPN’s history and growth.
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