Australian Open Audience up 4% across ESPN, ESPN2

Tennis

Australian Open Audience up 4% across ESPN, ESPN2

The audience for tennis’ first Major of 2020, the Australian Open, was up 4% across ESPN and ESPN2 compared to the 2019 event.  The live coverage averaged 365,000 viewers (P2+), up from 352,000.  The increase is all the more impressive given last year’s tournament was up 28% from 2018.  Among demo groups, leading the way was a 33% increase for viewers 18-24.

The most-viewed telecast from Melbourne came Saturday, Jan. 25, with the start of the Round of 16 and a telecast that included a battle of Americans – eventual champion Sofia Kenin defeating Coco Gauff.  The entire six-hour telecast  averaged 725,000 viewers (+24% vs. the same telecast a year ago), making it the most-viewed Australian Open telecast since the 2017 Men’s Championship (920,000 viewers).  It also was the largest audience for a Round of 16 telecast in a decade (Jan. 24, 2010, 912,000 viewers).

The women’s final performed notably strong.  The three-set victory by Kenin over Garbine Muguruza for her first Major championship was seen by an average of 673,000 viewers, second best of any telecast for the two-week tournament.  That represents an increase of 27% over last year’s championship (531,000).  Both matches started at 3:30 a.m. ET.

“Bonus Coverage” adds 14% to Schedule

ESPN and ESPN2 combined to air nearly 127 live hours of action from Melbourne, an increase of 14% from the scheduled 111.5 hours, thanks to long-running matches extending the telecast windows in the morning hours.

 

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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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