With the U.S. Open Tennis Championships featuring an all-U.S. women’s final four, the tournament set ratings records over the weekend for ESPN.
ESPN reported that Saturday’s Women’s Championship, in which two young Americans were featured — with unseeded Sloane Stephens winning handily over No. 15 Madison Keys, 6-3, 6-0 — earned a 1.9 overnight rating in the metered markets for the match portion of the three-hour telecast, an increase of 36% over last year’s women’s final.
“It was the highest overnight rating for the match in the three years ESPN has held exclusivity for the U.S. Open — first ball to last ball coverage,” the network announced, noting that because of the hurricane, tennis strongholds Miami and Ft. Myers are not included in the data.
“The rating for the match peaked at its conclusion, the crowning of a new Major champion. From 5:15 – 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN earned a 2.2 rating,” ESPN added, noting that the match out-rated two college football games on Saturday on Fox: Nebraska-Oregon and, in prime time, Stanford-USC.
ESPN also reported: “The total average audience for ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the U.S. Open from New York through Thursday, Sept. 7, was up 11% to 952,000 viewers on average, compared to 856,000 for the first 11 days of last year’s event. The increase includes a 50% rise in the audience for streaming.”