ESPN's Wimbledon Ratings Even With '11, Households Up 8% So Far
Wimbledon coverage on ESPN and ESPN2 is averaging a 0.5 Nielsen U.S. rating, even with the '11 tournament through six days of telecasts, and 569,000 HHs, up 8% from last year. Saturday's 10-hour-plus Wimbledon telecast on ESPN earned a 0.9 U.S. rating, the best for a "middle Saturday" since the net's '07 coverage earned a 1.0. Digital consumption on ESPN3 and WatchESPN is up 67% from '11 through the same point in the tourney, with 46.6 million live minutes consumed across all digital platforms (ESPN).
All-England Lawn Tennis Club CEO Richard Lewis discussed the use of the Centre Court retractable roof Tuesday. Lewis: “We're an outdoor event, so we want to play the match outdoor, without the roof if at all possible. So if it's dry and players are playing on the outside courts, we would start with the roof open and then if the rain comes along and play is suspended, we then play the rest of the match under the roof." With the club also hosting Olympic tennis this summer, ESPN's John McEnroe asked, “Does that come into play when you're deciding about which courts to play on at this stage of the tournament?” Lewis: “No, not yet, but it's something in the back of our minds in terms of we are aware of our responsibilities to the Olympics. Right now, it's about completing the championships” ("Wimbledon," ESPN2, 7/3).