· TV Audience up 40% vs. Last Year’s Multi-Network Approach, Rating among Viewers 18-34 Doubled
· ESPN/ESPN2 up 79% in Windows Aired Both Years
· WatchESPN Usage up Nearly 4X – Number of Devices and Time Spent Viewing Both Contribute to Growth
· Rain Pushes Women’s SFs to Friday; Serena’s Penultimate Match en route to Grand Slam
The audience for the first all-ESPN US Open is larger, younger and more mobile with more viewing choices than ever before, through data for the first nine days of the tournament.
The ESPN presentation has averaged 1,218,000 viewers (P2+), up 40 percent from 868,000 a year ago at the same point of the event. Driving that growth is viewers age 18-34; the viewership for that demo group is up 116 percent – more than double. The total viewership number is based on a household ratings increase of 33 percent – from 0.6 to 0.8.
The telecast windows aired by ESPN/ESPN2 both years have enjoyed an increase in viewers of 79 percent, averaging 1,200,000 viewers compared to 671,000 in 2014. The rating has grown 60 percent, from 0.5 to 0.8.
WatchESPN usage for the US Open is up nearly four times, with 242.7 million live minutes viewed (the linear TV presentation plus ESPN3’s offering of up to 11 courts and other content), up 384 percent from a year ago. On the average day, 351,000 unique devices have watched the US Open (up 171 percent), averaging 77 minutes each (up 40 percent).
Schedule Update – All Four Semifinals on Friday; Serena Plays Second Match in First Session
Thursday’s rain has pushed the women’s semifinals from a prime-time window to Friday morning at 11 a.m. on ESPN, starting with No. 2 seed Simona Halep facing No. 26 Flavia Pennetta. That match will be followed by top-seed Serena Williams in the penultimate match in her quest for the sport’s first true (calendar year) Grand Slam – a sweep of the sport’s four Major events – since 1988. She will face unseeded 32-year old Roberta Vinci.
The men’s semifinals – previously scheduled to start at 3 p.m. – will now be played at 5 p.m. on ESPN: No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 9 Marin Cilic, defending a Major title for the first time, and No. 2 Roger Federer vs. No. 5 Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss duel.
The women’s championship is Saturday at 3 p.m.; the men’s championship is Sunday at 4 p.m.; both will be aired on ESPN.
ESPN3’s offering of all televised courts – plus a feed in Spanish – is supplemented through the finals by the “US Open Chase Review Multicam” for matches on Ashe – an iso-cam on each player and the traditional TV production.
ESPN has televised the US Open since 2009. An 11-year agreement with the USTA for exclusivity was announced in May 2013. A complete look at ESPN’s plans for the 2015 US Open including the daily schedule ( http://es.pn/1ECwZws ), a look at new technology ( http://es.pn/1MzW0yM ) and a conference call on programming and production plans ( http://es.pn/1PoHn0D ).
ESPN & the 2015 US Open
|Fri Sep 11||11 a.m.
|US Open Women’s Semifinals
No. 2 Simona Halep vs. No. 26 Flavia Pennetta
No. 1 Serena Williams vs. Roberta Vinci
US Open Mixed Doubles Championship
|ESPN / ESPN3
|5 p.m.||US Open Men’s Semifinals
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 9 Marin Cilic
No. 2 Roger Federer vs. No. 5 Stan Wawrinka
|ESPN / ESPN3|
|Sat Sep 12||Noon||US Open Men’s Doubles Championship||ESPN3|
|3 p.m.||US Open Women’s Championship||ESPN / ESPN3
|Sun Sep 13||Noon||US Open Women’s Doubles Championship||ESPN3|
|3:30 p.m.||2015 US Open Men’s Championship Preview||ESPN|
|4 p.m.||US Open Men’s Championship||ESPN|