ESPN/ESPN2 Ratings Up More than 50%; NBC Ratings up 18% for US Open Series Semis and Finals
JPMorgan Chase Open Final is Most Watched U.S. Tournament in ESPN2 History
NBC Ratings for RCA Championships Are Highest in 4 Years
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 28, 2004 – The USTA today announced that television viewership of tournaments comprising the new US Open Series are up significantly from last year following the first two weeks of the inaugural US Open Series.
ESPN2’s broadcast of the JPMorgan Chase Open final between Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams was the network’s most-viewed tennis telecast ever, excluding the Grand Slams. The .70 rating was a 35% increase over last year’s final. Coverage of Saturday night’s semifinal generated a 200% ratings increase (a .6 rating vs. last year’s .2 rating).
NBC Sports scored its highest overnight ratings in four years for the RCA Championships, up 18% from last year (a 1.3 rating vs. last year’s 1.1). Its coverage of the semifinal and final (Andy Roddick vs. Nicolas Kiefer) was NBC’s highest-rated sports program for each day.
ESPN’s ratings success in the second week of the US Open Series builds upon the launch of the Series with coverage of the Bank of the West Classic and the Mercedes-Benz Cup. ESPN’s broadcasts of the women’s event generated increases of 94% for semifinal coverage and 71% for the final. ESPN registered a .4 rating for the men’s final, which was broadcast regionally last year on Fox Sports Net.
In addition to ratings increases, both the JPMorgan Chase Open and the RCA Championships saw record attendance at both tournaments. At the JPMorgan Chase Open, attendance for the week was 50,064, a record for the 34-year-old tournament. Sunday's crowd of 8,161 was the largest ever for an outdoor women’s tennis tournament in Los Angeles. In Indianapolis, total tournament attendance was 79,967, up from last year’s total of 73,489. The Sunday final between Roddick and Kiefer drew 7,915, the largest crowd since 1996.
The US Open Series is the six-week summer tennis season for 10 ATP and WTA Tour professional tournaments in North America leading up to and linked to the US Open.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. It owns and operates the US Open, the largest annually attended sporting event in the world. In addition, it owns the 96 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. A not-for-profit organization with more than 675,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grass roots to the professional levels. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.