SBD/July 9, 2013/Media

Murray-Djokovic Wimbledon Final Down, But Marks ESPN's Second-Best Tennis Audience

Bartoli-Lisicki match marks one of lowest-rated ladies' Wimbledon finals on record
ESPN drew a 1.7 U.S. rating and 2.5 million viewers for Andy Murray's straight sets win over Novak Djokovic on Sunday, marking the second lowest gentlemen's final on record, but marking the net's second-best tennis audience ever. The viewership is behind only last year's Wimbledon final, which saw Roger Federer defeat Murray. Meanwhile, ESPN drew a 0.9 rating and 1.3 million viewers for Marion Bartoli's win over Sabine Lisicki on Saturday, marking one of the least-viewed Wimbledon ladies' finals on record. The audience was down from a 2.0 rating and 2.2 million viewers for Serena Williams' win over Agnieszka Radwanska last year. Despite the drop, Bartoli-Lisicki ranks as ESPN's fifth-best tennis audience ever. ESPN's five biggest tennis audiences are all from the last two Wimbledons. That coincides with the first two years the net has exclusive rights to the tournament (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). In L.A., Meg James wrote ESPN's "gamble to serve more tennis appears to be paying off." The All England Club dropped NBC in '11 "after it grew increasingly frustrated by NBC's preemptions during key matches that angered U.S. tennis fans." ESPN has been making a "sizeable investment on tennis." Although "audiences are much smaller than for basketball or professional football, tennis attracts affluent viewers that luxury brands, including Rolex and Mercedes Benz, pay a premium to reach" (LATIMES.com, 7/8).

WIMBLEDON GENTLEMEN'S FINAL AUDIENCE TREND
YEAR
NETWORK
MATCHUP
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
'13
ESPN
Andy Murray-Novak Djokovic
1.7
2,456
'12
ESPN
Roger Federer-Andy Murray
2.5
3,925
'11
NBC
Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal
1.8
2,652
'10
NBC
Rafael Nadal-Tomas Berdych
1.6
2,317
'09
NBC
Roger Federer-Andy Roddick
3.8
5,706
'08
NBC
Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer
3.5
5,173
WIMBLEDON LADIES' FINAL AUDIENCE TREND
YEAR
NETWORK
MATCHUP
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
'13
ESPN
Marion Bartoli-Sabine Lisicki
0.9
1,302
'12
ESPN
Serena Williams-Agnieszka Radwanska
2.0
2,234
'11
NBC
Petra Kvitova-Maria Sharapova
1.9
2,249
'10
NBC
Serena Williams-Vera Zvonareva
1.6
2,234
'09
NBC
Serena Williams-Venus Williams
2.3
3,272
'08
NBC
Venus Williams-Serena Williams
2.5
3,654
         

NO ROOM FOR COMMENTS: Incoming BBC head of news and current affairs James Harding said that broadcaster John Inverdale's comments about Bartoli's personal appearance "were wrong." Harding added that Inverdale "had to take ownership of what he said and apologise to the tennis player." The BBC has "received almost 700 complaints in the hours after the veteran Inverdale said Bartoli 'was never going to be a looker' on Radio 5 Live" before Bartoli's match against Lisicki on Saturday. Harding yesterday was asked at a Women in Journalism event in London "whether this 'casual sexism' warranted" being fired "just as Sky Sports presenter Andy Gray was fired over a sexism row" in '11. Harding "hesitated" and said that the "punishment for wrongdoing had to be proportionate" (GUARDIAN, 7/9).

GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM: ADWEEK's Mike Shields reported the BBC's "most popular Wimbledon video to date" was a clip of player Kirsten Flipkens "stopping during one of her matches to complain about the noise a BBC reporter was making." The clip was "viewed over 400,000 times in the U.K." The second most popular Wimbledon clip, which was "streamed over 200,000 times, featured the Duchess of Cornwall leaving" ESPN's John McEnroe "hanging as he attempted a handshake." Footage of Murray’s win over Djokovic was "in third place" as of yesterday "with 175,000 views." Shields noted it is "certainly possible that these numbers can change as more Britons look to relive Murray's long-awaited win" (ADWEEK.com, 7/8).
Return to top

Related Topics:

Media, Wimbledon, Tennis

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug