French Open tournament Dir Gilbert Ysern indicated the tournament planned to increase prize money "spectacularly" over the next four years, according to Christopher Clarey of the N.Y. TIMES. After U.S. Open officials initially announced a $4M increase in total men’s and women’s prize money for '13, the news "is not suprising." Ysern declined to give precise figures. He said, "We’re going to be below the U.S. Open, but we’re on the same path.” Ysern said that the emphasis would remain on "increasing rewards for players who are eliminated in earlier rounds." One of the driving forces behind the ATPs’ prize-money push has been the "collective desire to increase the pool of players making a healthy living from the professional game." Ysern said, “I am particularly convinced there’s a logic to reducing the gap between the first- week players and the second-week players and to raise the prize money for the first week. I think that really is logical, but after that, I think you have to be reasonable" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/21).
Events and Attractions
The 2013 World Baseball Classic set records in attendance, licensing, viewership and sponsorship sales and social media activity. Overall, the tournament drew a total attendance of 885,212, which surpasses the 2009 World Baseball Classic top total of 801,410 by more than 10%. Tournament attendance records were set in Arizona (First Round), Puerto Rico (First Round), Miami (Second Round), and Tokyo (Second Round). The event generated TV viewership around the world, setting records in countries including the Dominican Republic, Japan, Puerto Rico and Taiwan. Tuesday's Championship game was the most watched sporting event in the Dominican Republic in the past 10 years, and the most watched sporting event in Puerto Rico in the past year. In the Dominican Republic, the game averaged an 11.2 rating and a 39 share on CDN, peaking at a 63 share towards the end of the game. In Puerto Rico, the game earned a combined 39.9 rating on Telemundo, MLB Network and ESPN Deportes, with a 64 share. Japan's defeat of The Netherlands on March 10 was the most viewed sporting event in Japan in the last 12 months, registering a 22.1 rating and a 43 share, out-rating all 2012 Olympics coverage and World Cup Qualifying matches. Japan's Semi-Final loss to Puerto Rico generated a 51 share in Japan, tops among all World Baseball Classic games. Taiwan recorded its highest-rated cable program in the country's history (15.5 rating) for the March 8 extra-inning thriller between Japan and Chinese Taipei. Tuesday's Championship game was the most watched baseball game ever on ESPN Deportes and the network's most-watched live sporting event since August. Sixty-six companies in eight countries sponsored the World Baseball Classic globally or regionally -- up from 56 companies in '09 and 26 in '06. Throught the first two rounds of the event, retail sales are tracking more than 10% ahead of '09. Fans from more than 2020 countries and territories visited WorldBaseballClassic.com. The 2013 World Baseball Classic generated nearly 600 million social media impressions, according to Bluefin Labs and Radian 6 (Major League Baseball).