SBD/Throwing A Changeup/Sports Media

U.S. Open Men's Final Rating Down As Rain Again Wreaks Havoc

ESPN2 Rushes Through Nadal Celebration To Get To "MNF"

The U.S. Open men's final Monday averaged a 1.8 final rating (2.5 million viewers) on CBS from 4:00-6:05pm ET, while ESPN2 earned a 1.2 U.S. rating (1.85 million viewers) from 7:52-10:15pm. The match, in which Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic to complete his career Grand Slam, marked the third consecutive men's final to take place on Monday due to weather delays. CBS' rating was down from a 2.3 rating (3.391 million viewers) from 4:00-8:41pm for Juan Martin del Potro's defeat of Roger Federer last year, and a 1.7 rating (2.317 million viewers) for Federer's defeat of Andy Murray in '08. Meanwhile, Kim Clijsters' defeat of Vera Zvorareva in the U.S. Open women's final Saturday night earned CBS a 1.7 final rating (2.609 million viewers) from 8:00-10:00pm (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS: FANHOUSE.com's Greg Couch wrote, "What does it say about a sport when its staple event in this country, the U.S. Open men's final, is treated like a hot potato by the networks?" Nadal was "on the verge of making history, as the networks kept telling us for two weeks." However, in the second set Monday, it started raining and CBS "decided it was done with tennis for the night, chucking history over to ESPN2, which was willing to show the match for a while." That net, though, was "minutes from dumping the match off on ESPN Classic, if Nadal hadn't finished up in the fourth set." Meanwhile, Nadal "rushed through his victory speech" -- he was "handed the trophy, and Nadal raised it over his head and, poof, we were outside a football stadium, the ceremony unceremoniously cut off" in favor of Chargers-Chiefs "MNF." Couch: "What an embarrassing moment for tennis. If tennis wants to be taken seriously, it just has to stop this stuff from happening" (FANHOUSE.com, 9/14). The N.Y. OBSERVER's John Koblin wrote, "It's great that the USTA has had a relationship with CBS for so long," as the net has aired the tournament for 43 years. However, with CBS "pulling the plug this should send a loud-and-clear message that they really shouldn't be the home for the tournament any longer. This is the showcase event for tennis in the United States and CBS won't bother finishing airing it. If the USTA wants a broadcast home, they should call up NBC, which already broadcasts the French Open and Wimbledon. Or just put the whole thing on ESPN anyway, since viewers hardly know the difference between cable and broadcast anymore" (OBSERVER.com, 9/13).

INTERVIEWS PACK PUNCH: SI.com's Jon Wertheim wrote pre-match interviews are "seldom the source of much insight," but he added, "Overall ... I don't mind these segments." Wertheim: "You get to see the players up close. You get to hear their voice. You get to see what they're carrying. There's some value there even if there's no nutritional value to the Q&A" (SI.com, 9/14).

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U.S. Open, Tennis, CBS, ESPN, Media

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