US Open Women’s Championship: Tied for ESPN’s Second-Best US Open Overnight Rating of all Time

Tennis

US Open Women’s Championship: Tied for ESPN’s Second-Best US Open Overnight Rating of all Time

·         Compelling Tennis, Controversy Drive Rating up 32% vs. 2017’s All-American Final

 

ESPN’s presentation of the US Open Women’s Championship – Naomi Osaka, just 20, shocking the legendary Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 with action on and off the court as controversy engulfed the second set – posted a 2.5 rating for the match itself and a 2.4 for the full three-hour telecast.

The rating for the compelling matchup of newcomer challenging her childhood idol is tied for the second-highest in ESPN’s entire US Open history (225 telecasts starting in 2009, exclusivity since 2015) with the 2015 Men’s Championship (Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer).  The only higher overnight rating, a 2.7, was a prime-time 2015 window of quarterfinal action that included Serena playing her sister Venus and Novak Djokovic vs. Feliciano Lopez.

The 2.4 overnight rating is up 32% from last year (1.9 for Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys of the U.S.) and 79% higher than 2016 (1.4 for Angelique Kerber vs. Karolina Pliskova).

Last night’s rating peaked in the final quarter hour of the match (5:30 – 5:45 p.m. ET) at a 3.3.

The five highest-rated markets were West Palm Beach (6.0), Washington DC (5.5), Richmond (5.1), New York (4.5) and Norfolk (3.8).

 

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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