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

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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