Propels ESPN to Best Day 1 Overall Day, Prime Time Ever, Dating Back to 2009
Straight-Sets Victory Peaks in Final Stages with 3.2 Million Viewers
Prime-time ESPN Telecast Nearly Four Times the 2021 Audience
Wednesday: Serena Again in the Spotlight under the Lights on Ashe,
Plays No. 2 Seed Anna Kontaveit at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
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Monday night’s US Open Opening Night match with the legendary Serena Williams – in what is expected to be her final event and defeating Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in a first-round contest 6-3, 6-3 – averaged 2.7 million viewers glued to the drama for the 1:45 match. The audience peaked in the last quarter-hour (9 – 9:15 p.m. ET) at 3.2 million.
The widespread anticipation for and attention across media to the near 41-year-old’s likely farewell appearance at tennis’ final Major tournament of the year – dating back to her debut in 1998 and including a record of six titles she shares with Chrissie Evert – helped boost ESPN viewership throughout the day from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.:
- The network averaged an ESPN first-day record of 1.7 million viewers for PrimeTime at the US Open presented by IBM (7 p.m. – 12:03 a.m. ET), an increase of 279% — nearly four-fold – over last year and up 40% over the previous high in 2019. ESPN has aired the US Open since 2009.
- The afternoon window on ESPN (noon – 7 p.m.) averaged the second best ever, trailing only the first year with exclusivity and first-ball-to-last-ball coverage in 2015 (680,000) with 626,000 viewers, up 44% from 2021.
- Combining the afternoon and prime-time windows, the total-day average of 843,000 viewers is ESPN’s best ever, again starting with 2009, and 4% better than the previous best, 809,000 in 2019.
Beyond television, Monday was the most-trafficked US Open Opening Day for ESPN Digital Properties on record, two million unique users.
Wednesday at the US Open on ESPN
Tomorrow, ESPN begins at noon as usual and continues non-stop through the evening with Second Round matches.
- Ashe Stadium: Andy Murray, the 2012 champion, takes the court first at noon against American Emilio Nava, followed by No. 12 Coco Gauff. At 7 p.m., Serena Williams will challenge No. 2 Anna Kontaveit, followed by Daniil Medvedev, the top seed on the men’s side.
- Armstrong Stadium: Starting at 11 a.m., No. 3 Maria Sakkari, No. 20 Madison Keys and Nick Kyrgios all play. In prime time, it’s No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime and then 2019 winner Bianca Andreescu.
- Around the grounds, starting at 11 a.m. on either ESPN+ or ESPN3:
- On Grandstand, No. 5 Ons Jabeur will be first on, followed by No. 13 Matteo Berrettini, then a battle of Americans, No. 29 Tommy Paul and Sebastian Korda, ending with No. 14 Leylah Fernandez no earlier than 5 p.m.
- On Court 17, No. 31 Shelby Rogers of South Carolina plays first, followed by another American, Alison Riske-Amritraj, and then No. 5 Casper Ruud. Play there will conclude not before 5 p.m. with No. 27 Karan Khachanov.
ESPN & the 2022 US Open – Second Round
|Mon Aug 29 – Thurs Sept 8||11 a.m.||ESPN+, ESPN3||Up to 16 courts in action|
|Wed Aug 31||11 a.m.||ESPN Deportes||Second Round|
|7 p.m.||ESPN||Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM –
|ESPN Deportes||Second Round|
|Thu Sept 1||11 a.m.||ESPN Deportes||Second Round|
|7 p.m.||ESPN2||Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM –
|ESPN Deportes||Second Round|