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Wimbledon Tennis Viewership, 1973-2008

Categories: ',TV Ratings Reference

Written By

July 4th, 2008

Updated with 2008 Results

The decline in tennis' The Championships, Wimbledon US TV ratings has been quite substantial, much more so than most other sports championship events (you can find many such charts in our Reference category). Recent upward ticks seem to occur (with only a few exceptions) when the Men's champion is from the US, and then the long term downward trend takes hold again. Discounting comparisons to the ratings prior to 1987 (because of a Nielsen measurement quirk described below) viewership has fallen almost in half the last 20 years. Is this due to the lack of a US Men's champion since 2000?  On the other hand, US Women have done quite well since 1999, but don't seem to have helped the ratings. I admit to not having any clever guesses as to why the decline has been so severe. Anyone else have any better guesses?

7/14 Update: Chart and table updated with 2008 results. The All Williams Women's final, plus the epic Federer v. Nadal battle did produce a noticeable uptick in the Wimbledon ratings, but only to levels last seen in 2002.

Complete Wimbledon Tennis TV Ratings, 1973-2008:

 

 


Year Viewers (million) HH rating Share Telecasts Network Winners (Women/Men)
1973 4.60 4.5 19 2 NBC KING/KODES
1974 6.62 5.6 23 2 NBC EVERT/CONNORS
1975* 6.89 5.4 23 4 NBC KING/ASHE
1976* 6.04 5.1 20 4 NBC EVERT/BORG
1977* 6.37 5.6 25 3 NBC WADE/BORG
1978* 7.81 5.8 23 3 NBC NAVRATILOVA/BORG
1979* 6.51 5.1 22 3 NBC NAVRATILOVA/BORG
1980* 8.42 6.6 26 4 NBC GOOLAGONG/BORG
1981* 7.98 6.0 25 5 NBC EVERT-LLOYD/MCENROE
1982* 7.79 5.1 20 6 NBC NAVRATILOVA/CONNORS
1983* 4.78 4.1 17 6 NBC NAVRATILOVA/MCENROE
1984* 4.56 3.9 14 7 NBC NAVRATILOVA/MCENROE
1985* 5.69 4.5 17 8 NBC NAVRATILOVA/BECKER
1986* 5.22 3.9 14 7 NBC NAVRATILOVA/BECKER
1987 3.95 3.6 14 7 NBC NAVRATILOVA/CASH
1988 4.29 3.6 14 9 NBC GRAF/EDBERG
1989 4.56 3.9 15 9 NBC GRAF/BECKER
1990 3.74 3.1 12 9 NBC NAVRATILOVA/EDBERG
1991 4.65 3.7 13 15 NBC GRAF/STICH
1992 4.48 3.7 13 15 NBC GRAF/AGASSI
1993 3.74 3.1 11 14 NBC GRAF/SAMPRAS
1994 3.16 2.7 10 14 NBC MARTINEZ/SAMPRAS
1995 3.54 3.0 11 10 NBC GRAF/SAMPRAS
1996 2.91 2.5 9 9 NBC GRAF/KRAJICEK
1997 2.70 2.3 9 9 NBC HINGIS/SAMPRAS
1998 2.64 2.2 8 9 NBC NOVOTNA/SAMPRAS
1999 3.38 2.9 10 9 NBC DAVENPORT/SAMPRAS
2000 4.07 3.2 11 9 NBC WILLIAMS/SAMPRAS
2001 3.20 2.6 9 9 NBC V. WILLIAMS/IVANISEVIC
2002 2.71 2.1 7 9 NBC S. WILLIAMS/HEWITT
2003 2.49 2.0 7 9 NBC S. WILLIAMS/FEDERER
2004 2.54 1.9 6 9 NBC SHARAPOVA/FEDERER
2005 2.49 1.9 6 9 NBC V. WILLIAMS/FEDERER
2006 2.06 1.6 5 9 NBC MAURESMO/FEDERER
2007 2.29 1.7 5 9 NBC V. WILLIAMS/FEDERER
2008 2.64 1.9 6 9 NBC V. WILLIAMS/NADAL

*Note: Data does not include the telecasts in June because data was not produced in the last complete week of June prior to 1987.

Data shown is an average of all telecasts including finals and semi-finals. Data for 2006-8 are Live+SD, prior years are Live viewing.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
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