Nadal-Federer Final Marks Best French Open Overnight Since Agassi's Win In '99
NBC earned a 2.6 overnight Nielsen rating for Rafael Nadal's four-set win over Roger Federer yesterday from 9:00am-2:00pm ET, marking the best French Open men's final overnight since Andre Agassi beat Andrei Nedvedev in five sets in '99 (4.0 overnight). Nadal-Federer is also up 63% from a 1.6 overnight for Nadal's victory over Robin Soderling last year. West Palm Beach topped all U.S. markets for the Nadal-Federer match with a 5.1 local rating, while DC finished second with a 4.0 rating. NBC also earned a 1.7 overnight for Li Na's victory over Francesca Schiavone in the women's final on Saturday from 9:00am-12:00pm, flat compared to Schiavone's win over Sam Stosur last year. NBC Friday drew a 1.3 overnight for Federer's win over Novak Djokovic and the conclusion of Nadal's win over Andy Murray in the semifinals, up 30% from a 1.0 overnight for semifinal coverage last year. NBCSports.com also had an average of 48 minutes per stream for live coverage of the Federer-Djokovic match (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
IN THE BOOTH: In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes NBC's three-person crew of Ted Robinson, Mary Carillo and John McEnroe kept Nadal-Federer "in focus." McEnroe "again displayed his ability to keep hype out of his delivery" (DENVER POST, 6/6). However, in St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes Robinson's presence during yesterday's final "made the NBC three-person booth too crowded." McEnroe and Carillo are "so good that they don't need setting up," and if "one sport out there doesn't need a true play-by-play announcer, it's tennis" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/6).
BATTLE OF BABOLAT BALLS: In the first set of the Nadal-Federer match, McEnroe noted that “we’ve seen more ... unforced errors" from Nadal “then we’ve ever seen." Part of that "is probably due to this lighter ball” from Babolat “that flies and the players -- even Nadal -- have to accept that it’s going to happen.” Carillo said, “They’re lighter and they fly through the air more. ... Nadal prefers those old balls as much (as anybody), but he doesn’t want to say anything because it’s the same company that made these balls that pays him millions of dollars” (“French Open,” NBC, 6/5). Nadal has an endorsement deal to play with Babolat racquets (THE DAILY).