US Open Draws Biggest Audience For ESPN

September 11, 2019

ESPN drew its biggest audience ever for the US Open tennis tournament. Its live exclusive coverage was seen by an average of 1,275,000 viewers, up 23% from last year (1,038,000).

The previous best was 2015, ESPN’s first year of exclusivity and airing the entire tournament (1,265,000).  The increase includes all the key male, female and adult demos.  Notably, there was a 32% increase among women 18-34 and a 10% increase among men in that age range.

The most-watched telecast this year was the Women’s Championship on September 7 with Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu (in photo) surprising Serena Williams, earning an average of 3,219,000 viewers, ranking second all-time (behind only the 2015 men’s final at 3,321,000).

The Men’s Championship on September 8 in which Rafael Nadal outlasted Daniil Madvedev in a five-set, five-hour marathon drew an average of 2,751,000 viewers. It was the most-watched US Open Men’s Championship since 2015.

Overall, 2019 was an extremely strong year for Grand Slam tennis on the ESPN networks.  The US Open increase comes on the heels of Wimbledon’s 30% increase and the Australian Open viewership was up 27%.

While the excitement over 15-year-old American Coco Gauff sparked US Open ratings during the first week, increases were experienced throughout the two-week event. Overall, 28 of 29 comparable telecast windows saw an increase in viewership over 2018.