US Open Ratings: ESPN2 Continues to Ace its Inaugural US Open
Through five days, ESPN2’s first-ever coverage of tennis’ US Open continues to hit aces compared to last year’s telecasts of the final Grand Slam event of the year and the network’s typical audience for the time period. The audience across the daily marathon 10+-hour telecasts is 11% larger than last year, up from an average of 616,000 households to 682,000, with larger increases for the key male demos – the audience of Men 18-34 is up 23% and Men 18-49 has risen 35%. ESPN2 is averaging a 0.6 US household rating for 55 hours (up 10% from the 50 hours scheduled due to late-running matches), up 20% from a 0.5 for 2008 to date. (The household coverage-area ratings are 0.7 and 0.6, respectively).
The audience growth is larger in prime time. ESPN2 has averaged a 0.8 US household rating, up 33% from 0.6, with an average of 942,000 homes, up 31% from 720,000. (The household coverage-area ratings are 1.0 and 0.7, respectively).
Among Men 18-34, the increase in prime time is 21%, with a 42% rise for Men 18-49.
Compared to ESPN2’s programming for the same week last year, the daytime (1-7 p.m. ET) audience has more than doubled – an increase of 135%. In prime time (7-11 p.m.), the US Open has almost tripled the network’s audience with a rise of 177%.
With programming on ESPN Radio, ESPN360.com, ESPNEWS and more – in addition to ESPN2’s 100 hours during the two-week tournament – ESPN is completing a Grand Slam, presenting all four of the sport’s majors, which no U.S. network has ever done before, let alone in a single year.
Thursday’s Lineup: Nadal Headlines Men’s Quarterfinals, Wheelchair Tennis Added
After tonight’s telecast, ESPN2 will conclude its marathon telecasts tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 10, starting at 11 a.m. The day’s programming will be highlighted by two men’s quarterfinals – #6 Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) vs. #16 Marin Cilic (CRO) during the afternoon with #11 seed Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) playing #3 Rafael Nadal (ESP) in prime time. In addition, the daytime schedule includes the Mixed Doubles Final — Carly Gullickson/Travis Parrott (USA) vs. Cara Black (ZIM)/Leander Peas (IND).
Also, broadband ESPN360.com, which has featured nearly 400 hours of multi-court coverage through the tournament, has added a quarterfinal match in the Wheelchair competition. Six-time US Open champ Esther Vergeer – who has won more than 370 consecutive matches, having not lost since 2003 – will play Florence Gravellier of France on Louis Armstrong Stadium. ESPN2 will also show portions of the action.
ESPN2’s coverage of the US Open will conclude Sunday, Sept. 13, with the Women’s Doubles live at 1 p.m. and a special two-hour edition of SportsCenter at 9 p.m. to review the finals and the entire tournament.
|Thurs, Sept 10||11 a.m.-6 p.m.||Men’s Q-finals: #6 Del Potro vs. #16 Cilic||ESPN2|
|Mixed Doubles Final: Gullickson/Parrott vs. Black/Paes|
|Noon-2 p.m.||US Open Updates||ESPNEWS|
|6-7 p.m.||US Open Scoreboard||ESPN2|
|7-11 p.m.||Men’s Q-final: #11 Gonzalez vs. #3 Nadal||ESPN2|
|Fri, Sept 11||Noon-2 p.m.||US Open Updates||ESPNEWS|
|Sun, Sept 13||1-3 p.m.||Women’s Doubles Final||ESPN2|
|9-11 p.m.||SportsCenter at the US Open||ESPN2|