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Wimbledon Provides Thrills, History & Two of ESPN’s Largest Tennis Audiences


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For ESPN/Wimbledon Photos, including shots from the 2013 Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Championships:

Murray’s Triumph — ESPN’s Second Biggest Tennis Audience Ever

WatchESPN App Usage Nearly Quadruples

The 2013 fortnight of The Championships, Wimbledon thrilled tennis fans with surprises and an historic ending and it provided two of ESPN’s biggest five audiences for tennis in its 33+ years.  In addition, the WatchESPN app saw its usage rise for the event by nearly four-fold.

The Gentlemen’s Championship saw No. 2 Andy Murray of Scotland end Great Britain’s 77-year drought, in a straight-sets triumph over No. 1 Novak Djokovic. ESPN’s telecast drew a 1.7 Fast National US rating, according to Nielsen.  That represents an average of 1,894,000 homes and 2,456,000 viewers (P2+), the second largest audience in ESPN tennis history, behind only last year’s Gentlemen’s Championship (2,876,000 households and 3,925,000 viewers).  The rating for Sunday’s final peaked at a 2.8 for the final 30 minutes of the telecast (12-12:30 p.m. ET).  Last year’s four-set match between Roger Federer and Murray peaked at 4.1 for the half hour starting at 1 p.m.  The match ended at 2:15 p.m.

In addition, Saturday’s telecast of the Ladies’ Championship – No. 15 Marion Bartoli winning her first major title over No. 23 Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4 – plus the Gentlemen’s Doubles Championship – American’s Bob and Mike Bryan winning their 15th major and third in a row – drew a 0.9 US rating for the five-hour telecast.  The average audience of 1,061,000 homes and 1,302,000 viewers is the fifth best in ESPN tennis history.  ESPN’s biggest five tennis audiences are all from the last two Wimbledon events:

Date Event (all Wimbledon) HH imps US Rating
Sun, July 8, 2012 Gentlemen’s Championship 2,876,000 2.5
Sun, July 7, 2013 Gentlemen’s Championship 1,894,000 1.7
Sat, July 7, 2012 Ladies’ ChampionshipGentlemen’s Doubles ChampionshipLadies’ Doubles Championship 1,373,000 1.2
Fri, July 6, 2012 Gentlemen’s Semifinals 1,298,000 1.1
Sat, July 6, 2013 Ladies’ ChampionshipGentlemens’ Doubles Championship 1,061,000 0.9

Wimbledon Scores on ESPN Digital Platforms

Digital consumption of ESPN content continues to grow strongly, and Wimbledon was no exception.  For WatchESPN and ESPN3, the strongest day of the tournament was Friday, July 5, logging 16 million live minutes viewed across computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox and Apple TV.

Specifically, usage of the WatchESPN app on smartphones and tablets throughout the entire tournament was up 274 percent – nearly quadruple – in live minutes viewed.  Additionally, the average number of daily viewers nearly doubled, up 89 percent, while minutes per viewer via the app more than doubled, up 110 percent.

Across the two weeks of the tournament, Tennis video starts were up eight percent at 2.1 million.  Additionally, average daily traffic to the Tennis card on the ScoreCenter app during the tournament more than doubled in unique viewers (up 138 percent) and visits (up 118 percent).  Usage nearly tripled in minutes (up 195 percent) and average minute audience (up 195 percent).

ESPN and Wimbledon

ESPN’s exclusivity and all-live presentation began in 2012, the result of a 12-year agreement between ESPN and the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced just after the conclusion of the 2011 Championships.