Men’s Championship up 37% for Djokovic’s Grand Slam Quest
Women’s Championship up 30%; Hits Highest Peak Audience of Tournament
Men’s Semifinals Combine for 46% Increase
The 2021 US Open in New York averaged 881,000 viewers in prime time, up 33% (from 662,000) over last year, and it was up 13% (from an average of 702,000 to 796,000) for the entire two weeks of telecasts. Coverage totaled 153 hours across ESPN and ESPN2, an increase of 15% over the 133 that had been scheduled.
This past weekend’s women’s and men’s championships – both featuring historic storylines – each enjoyed large increases over 2020.
Women’s Championship: Fernandez vs. Raducanu
- Saturday’s women’s final between unheralded teenagers Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez – the first Major final, male or female, with two unseeded players in the Open Era (since 1968) – averaged 2.44 million viewers. That represents an increase of 30% over last year (Victoria Azarenka vs. Naomi Osaka).
- The match peaked at 3.4 million viewers at 6-6:15 p.m. ET, ESPN’s highest peak of the tournament.
- It is the most-watched women’s final of the seven ESPN has televised since acquiring US Open exclusivity in 2015 that did not include Serena Williams (2018, 2019).
- Raducanu – the first man or woman to reach a Major final having come through qualifying – defeated Fernandez 6-4, 6-3.
Men’s Championship: Djokovic vs. Medvedev
- The men’s final featured the first attempt by a man to win the Grand Slam – capturing all four Major crowns in one calendar year – since Rod Laver in 1969. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic was also seeking sole ownership of the record for career Majors won by a man, currently a tie at 20 with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
- His match against #2 Daniil Medvedev averaged 2.05 million viewers, up 37% from a year ago. It peaked at 2.7 million viewers at 6:15-30 p.m.
- Medvedev won his first Major title in denying Djokovic his place in history with a straight sets win – 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
The Men’s Semifinals – now split into an afternoon match (Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Daniil Medvedev) and one in prime time (Novak Djokovic vs. Alexander Zverev) – combined to average 1.3 million viewers. That represents an increase of 46% over 2020.