Australian Open Audience up 27% across ESPN, ESPN2

Tennis

Australian Open Audience up 27% across ESPN, ESPN2

The audience for tennis’ first Major of 2019, the Australian Open, was up 27% across ESPN and ESPN2 compared to the 2018 event.  The live coverage averaged 347,000 viewers (P2+), up from 274,000.

Among demo groups, leading the way were increases for viewers 55+ (up 35%), viewers 25-54 (up 25%) and viewers 18-49 (up 10%).

The most-viewed telecast from Melbourne came Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 9 p.m. ET.  That six-hour window – which included Karolina Pliskova’s shocking third-set comeback victory over Serena Williams – averaged 631,000 viewers.  The telecast peaked with 1,366,000 viewers from 11-11:15 p.m., the end of that match.  It also out-drew any telecast last year except the men’s final.

Overall, 19 of the 25 live telecast windows showed improvement over 2018, including the women’s final.  The three-set victory by Naomi Osaka – her second consecutive Major win, following her taking the US Open last September – over Petra Kvitova was seen by an average of 529,000 viewers.  That represents an increase of 18% over last year’s championship (450,000).  Both matches started at 3:30 a.m.

“Bonus Coverage” adds 14% to Schedule

ESPN and ESPN2 combined to air nearly 125 live hours of action from Melbourne, an increase of 14% from the scheduled 109.5 hours, thanks to long-running matches extending the telecast windows in the morning hours.

 

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Dave Nagle

It was 33 years at ESPN for me as of November 2019 (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 (16 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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