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Tennis

ESPN’s US Open Audience up 8%; Streaming up 45%

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  • Star-Spangled Women’s Semis Thursday Night – Four Americans: Stephens vs. Williams, Keys vs. Vandeweghe
  • Men’s Semis Friday Night: Nadal vs. del Potro, Anderson vs. Carreno Busta
  • Late Nights in New York:  Drama on Tennis’ Biggest Stage includes 14:51 Telecast…Likely Live Sports’ Longest of all Time

The total average audience for ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the US Open from New York through Tuesday, Sept. 5, was up 8% to 874,000 viewers on average, compared to 809,000 for the first nine days of last year’s event.  The increase includes a 45% rise in the audience for streaming.  The television rating across ESPN and ESPN2 is a 0.6, up from a 0.5 at this stage of the 2016 tournament.

The numbers are all the more noteworthy given that ESPN’s “first ball to last ball” schedule has often extended past the 11 p.m. end time and deep into the late New York nights.

  • These include staying live to 2:09 a.m. ET on the first night (Monday, Aug. 28), 1:57 a.m. on Tues., Sept. 5, and 1:51 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2.
  • Overall through Tuesday (10 days), 96 hours were scheduled on ESPN and ESPN2 but 111.5 were aired.
  • That Saturday telecast began at 11 a.m. and lasted a total of 14:51, breaking ESPN’s tennis record of 14.

del Potro – Federer Match Soars in Overnight Rating

Wednesday night’s exciting quarterfinal – Juan Martin del Potro ousting Roger Federer in four sets – earned a 1.6 overnight rating in the metered markets, 45% higher than 2016.  The same time slot a year ago garnered a 1.1.

Women’s Semifinals Thursday in Prime Time:  A Star-Spangled Doubleheader

The women’s semifinals will be a star-spangled affair on ESPN, ESPN3 and streaming live on the ESPN app Thursday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m., with all four slots taken by Americans.  No. 15 Madison Keys will play No. 20 CoCo Vandeweghe who ousted the top seed, Karolina Pliskova, in Wednesday’s first quarterfinal.  The evening will start with an intriguing inter-generational matchup of Americans with heartwarming comeback stories:  unseeded 24-year old American Sloane Stephens facing two-time US Open champ No. 9 Venus Williams.

Stephens, who was ranked as high as No. 11 back in 2013, only returned to action last month after a long recovery from foot surgery.  Williams, who first appeared in the US Open semifinals 20 years ago at age 17, is the oldest woman in the tournament.  Her resurgent 2017 now includes reaching the semis at three Majors (reached the final at the Australian Open and Wimbledon).  It’s only the third time in her storied career that she’s reached three Major semis in a year; the other two years were 15 and 16 years ago (2002, ’01).  She had failed to go that far in any Major from 2011 through the 2016 French Open.  Williams has won more matches at the 2017 Majors than any other woman.

Men’s Semifinals Friday

The men’s semifinals on ESPN, ESPN3, the ESPN app and ESPN Deportes on Friday, Sept. 8, at 4 p.m. will pit former US Open champions and two first-time Major semifinalists.  Top seed Rafael Nadal (2010, ’13) will face No. 24 Juan Martin del Potro (2009) in the nightcap after No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain plays No. 28 Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

ESPN’s two weeks of exclusive live coverage from tennis’ fourth and final Major of the year culminates with the Women’s Championship on Saturday, Sept. 9, and the Men’s Championship on Sunday, Sept. 10, both at 4 p.m.  In addition, the doubles championships will be presented:  the men on Friday at noon on ESPN2, mixed doubles Saturday at noon on ESPN3, and the women on Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.

Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)
Thur Sept 7 7 p.m. US Open Women’s Semifinals ESPN
Fri Sept 8 Noon US Open Men’s Doubles Championship ESPN2
  4 p.m. US Open Men’s Semifinals ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Sat Sept 9 Noon US Open Mixed Doubles Championship ESPN3
  4 p.m. US Open Women’s Championship ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Sun Sept 10 1 p.m. US Open Women’s Doubles Championship ESPN2
  3 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship Preview Special ESPN
  4 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship ESPN / ESPN Deportes
  8:30 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship ESPN2 (encore)

 

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