US Open Women's Final: Overnight Rating for Match up 36%, ESPN's Best Ever
· Total Streaming Viewers Soared 71% for Battle of Young American Women
Saturday's US Open Women's Championship on ESPN - a battle of young American women in which unseeded Sloane Stephens convincingly triumphed over No. 15 Madison Key 6-3, 6-0 - earned a 1.9 overnight rating in the metered markets for the match portion of the three-hour telecast, 36% higher than last year's women's final from New York. It was the highest overnight rating for the match in the three years ESPN has held exclusivity for the US Open - first ball to last ball coverage. (Notably, because of the hurricane, tennis strongholds Miami and Ft. Myers are not included.)
The rating for the match peaked at its conclusion, the crowning of a new Major champion. From 5:15 - 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN earned a 2.2 rating.
The highest-rated markets were Norfolk-Portsmoutth-Newport News (3.3), Washington, DC (3.2), Birmingham (2.9), West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce (2.8), and New York (2.7).
In fact, the match out-rated two college football games on Saturday on Fox: Nebraska-Oregon and, in prime time, Stanford-USC.
The three components of streaming the match were also significantly higher than previously. The total number of unique viewers was up 71%, the total minutes watched was up 15% and the average minute audience was up 38% to a new high for 2015-17.
ESPN's Total Average Audience for US Open up 11% after 11 Days
The total average audience for ESPN's exclusive coverage of the US Open from New York through Thursday, Sept. 7, was up 11% to 952,000 viewers on average, compared to 856,000 for the first 11 days of last year's event. The increase includes a 50% rise in the audience for streaming.