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.