SBJ/August 31 - September 6, 1998/No Topic Name

Women's tennis aces TV ratings

As women's tennis has gained ground on the men's game in TV ratings, it also has dominated the ratings among all women's sports.

So far in 1998, five of the top 10 highest-rated women-only sporting events are women's Grand Slam tennis events, led by the Wimbledon final on July 4, which received a 2.7 rating.

The Women's National Basketball Association has two games in the top 10 ratings, as does golf with the U.S. Open and the LPGA Skins Game.

The Women's Tennis Association ranks behind women's gymnastics in overall 1998 domestic TV ratings, however, with men's and women's gymnastics combined receiving a 2.1. The WTA has had an average rating of 1.93 this year.

The deal that the WTA is nearing with Fox and ESPN for North American television rights could pull women's tennis close to the level of exposure enjoyed by the WNBA, which in its second year already has three national television network deals in place thanks to the massive marketing push by its deep-pocketed NBA parent.

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