A record nationwide audience of 116 million viewers tuned in for a telecast over the weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The audience was in China, and the telecast was the women’s singles championship match in the French Open, in which Chinese tennis star Li Na became the first Asian to win a Grand Slam.
Li’s win over the defending champion, Italy’s Francesca Schiavone, attracted almost twice as many Chinese viewers as the Australian Open final in January, in which Li lost to Kim Clijsters.
The French Open final was carried by state-run China Central Television, airing on two channels at 9 p.m. local time on Saturday, the story notes.
“By Sunday morning, Li, 28, was all over the Chinese media in a storm of attention that persists, with many Chinese telling local media they were surprised by the $1.7 million in prize money Li won,” the story adds.