via press release:
@ESPNTennis & US Open: Serena vs. Venus XXVII Earns 4.8 Rating
· Much-Anticipated Meeting Peaks at 5.6; Serena only Two Wins from Grand Slam
· Entire 5+-hour Telecast Scores a 2.7 Overnight Rating – ESPN’s Second Best for Tennis
· 2.7 Rating only Exceeded by 2012 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final where Federer Defeated Murray (3.1)
· Tuesday Sets Tennis Record for WatchESPN for Third Time during US Open
Last night’s US Open quarterfinal on ESPN –the much-anticipated 27th meeting between top-seeded Serena Williams and No. 23 Venus Williams –earned a 4.8 rating, peaking at a 5.6 from 10-10:15 p.m. ET. The entire 5:15 telecast (including a second match, Novak Djokovic over Feliciano Lopez) scored a 2.7 from Nielsen’s metered markets, the second best for tennis in ESPN history (any ESPN network). The only higher overnight rating for tennis was the 2012 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship – Roger Federer over Andy Murray – with a 3.1. The 2.7 is 145% higher than the 1.1 earned by the same time slot last year.
Among the metered markets, West Palm Beach led the way with a 4.8 for the entire telecast, followed by New York (4.7), Atlanta (4.5), Richmond (4.1) and Washington DC (4.0) Eleven markets set a new high for tennis on an ESPN network: New Orleans, Raleigh-Durham, Miami, Louisville, Birmingham, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Sacramento and Nashville.
It was also a record day for tennis on WatchESPN – the third of the US Open to date – with 612,000 users totaling 44.8 million minutes viewed. The previous best came Monday, with 447,000 users and 40.3 million minutes.
The victory leaves Serena just two wins shy of a true (calendar year) Grand Slam – a sweep of the sport’s four Major events – not accomplished since Steffi Graf in 1988. The women’s semifinals – including Williams vs. unseeded 32-year old Roberta Vinci – are on ESPN on Thursday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. The women’s championship is Saturday at 3 p.m.; the men’s semifinals – including No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 9 Marin Cilic, defending a Major title for the first time – are Friday at 3 p.m. with the championship Sunday at 4 p.m. – all 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.