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SBD Global/July 10, 2012/Media

Murray-Federer Final Scores Best U.K. Viewership Since 1990 Tournament

Fans watching the Wimbledon men's final on TV react in Dunblane, Scotland Sunday.

Andy Murray's "valiant defeat" to Roger Federer in Sunday's Wimbledon men's final “attracted a peak audience of 16.9 million, the highest viewing figure since at least 1990 and a record for a British player at the tournament,” according to Mark Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. An “average audience of 11.4 million tuned into BBC1's coverage" from 1:00-6:45pm local time yesterday, a 58% share of total TV viewing across that time period. The 16.9 million peak “is a new record for a British player at Wimbledon, surpassing the previous mark of 13.1 million set by" Tim Henman-Michel Kratochvil in the fourth round in '02 (GUARDIAN, 7/9). In London, Grace Dent noted the BBC's post-match credits ran to the Beatles song, “Let It Be,” and although Murray lost, the net's "live sports coverage still felt like a winner” (INDEPENDENT, 7/9). In L.A., Georg Szalai noted that the finals match "wasn't as widely watched" as some of the Euro 2012 matches last month and the Queen's recent jubilee concert (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/9). In London, Owen Gibson noted the audience for Murray's defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Friday in the semifinals “peaked at 11.4 million viewers, the highest ratings for any of the four consecutive semi-finals that the Scot has reached" since '09 (GUARDIAN, 7/8).

QUESTIONABLE BENEFIT: In London, Martin Kelner wrote that Sunday's match was the "first men's final to be broadcast in 3D, which in my view remains a questionable benefit." The view in 3D was "less than satisfying." With fewer cameras for 3D than for "conventional coverage, the director struggles for different angles." For the most part viewers are "behind the server, or we are receiving the serve." Kelner: "I watched the ladies' final in 3D, and seemed to spend most of the afternoon shuffling around on the sofa, as Serena Williams fired serves of up to 120mph out of the TV set at me" (GUARDIAN, 7/9).

U.S. AUDIENCE STRONG: In the U.S., ESPN earned a 3.1 overnight Nielsen rating for the men's final  from 9am-2:15pm EST. That is up 48% from a 2.1 overnight last year on NBC for Novak Djokovic’ win over Rafael Nadal. The 3.1 rating is also up from a 1.9 rating in ’10 for Nadal’s win over Tomas Berdych. Meanwhile, ESPN earned a 2.5 overnight for Serena Williams’ defeat of Agnieszka Radwanska in Saturday's women's final 9am-12pm EST, up 14% from a 2.2 rating on NBC last year for Petra Kvitova’s win over Maria Sharapova. For the complete Saturday Wimbledon window from 9am-2pm, ESPN earned a 2.0 overnight, up from NBC’s 1.8 rating last year. The ’10 final, which saw Williams defeat Vera Zvonareva, also earned a 1.8 for the entire window (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

GERMANY UNINTERESTED: DWDL.de's Alexander Krei reported that only 100,000 people watched the broadcast of Roger Federer's record-tying seventh Wimbledon title on pay-TV channel Sky Deutschland. This number increased to 110,000 after the short rain delay, which is still only a 0.6% market share (DWDL.de, 7/9).

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Related Topics:

Wimbledon, ESPN, Media, United Kingdom

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