2009 U.S. Open women's final: television ratings reveal much...

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by THUNDERVOLLEY, Sep 19, 2009.



    Feb 1, 2007

    U.S. Open women's final: no ratings hit

    Relegated to cable and lacking any recognizable stars beyond tennis circles, the women's final of the U.S. Open was a bust in the ratings.

    The Clijsters/Wozniacki U.S. Open women's final drew a mere 1.1 U.S. rating and 1.8 million viewers on ESPN2 Sunday night, down 67% in ratings and 62% in viewers from a 3.3 and 4.9 million for last year's S. Williams/Jankovic final, which aired on CBS.

    This marks the lowest rated U.S. Open women's final since at least 1996 -- 50% below the previous 13-year low of 2.2 for Kuznetsova/Dementieva in '04.

    Sunday's women's final was far less of a draw than the Clijsters/S. Williams semifinal the previous night. That match, which aired on CBS, drew a 2.1/4 final rating and 3.2 million viewers.


    U.S. Open numbers game

    Ratings for the men's and women's finals of the U.S. Open since 1996.

    For the second straight year, rain pushed back the U.S. Open men's and women's finals to Sunday and Monday, respectively. Sunday night's Clijsters/Wozniacki women's final drew a 1.1 U.S. rating and 1.8 million viewers on ESPN2, down 67% in ratings from last year's S. Williams/Jankovic final. Meanwhile, Monday's Del Potro/Federer men's final drew a 2.3/5 and 3.4 million -- up 35% in ratings from last year's 1.7/4 for Federer/Murray.

    The two championship matches averaged a mere 1.7 rating, down 32% from a 2.5 last year, and the fourth straight year of declines. Since '99, the average rating for the championship matches of the U.S. Open has declined by 73% (6.3 to 1.7).

    Ratings for men's and women's finals of U.S. Open since '96

    Source: Sports Business Daily
    ^ In 2009, the women's final took place on Sunday (ESPN2), and the men's final took place on Monday (CBS)
    * In 2008, the women's final took place on Sunday, and the men's final took place on Monday (both on CBS)


    Fascinating for several reasons.

    1. The 2009 U.S. Open's ladies' final was not so successful in the ratings. While some will quickly say, "well that was expected; the TV audience does n know who they are." However, for all of the verbal cartwheels performed regarding "Kimmie's" return and slam victory, an observer would be led to believe Clijsters was the Second Coming arriving to save women's tennis. Obviously, the audience had different thoughts.

    2. The semi between Clijsters and Serena earne ratings above that of the aforementioned final. Can we guess the reason for that result. The audience certainly knows.

    3. Since 1996, the ever-so despised Williams sisters, the sisters so "bad" for the sport (according to Objective Danny and others around here),
    every final with one or more Williams sister saw a notable spike in the ratings, with the lowest entries being Serena vs. Jankovic from 2008, and Venus vs. Hingis from 1997, yet their ratings still surpassed any non-Williams participating finals, including any featuring the celebrated Henin, Clijsters or Sharapova.

    Amusingly, for the faction claiming to be WTA fans, yet hate the Williams sisters...but happens to experience the sport primarily through TV, then ratings--that which is paramount to networks and sponsors (collectively, the Powers That Be) should be a shared concern.

    Using the chart as a base for hypothetical ratings projections, if the next few years of U.S Open tournaments were suddenly Williams free from this moment forward, there is no existing evidence to suggest the ratings would ever see the level of any dual or single Williams-involved final. With other top WTA personalites failing to match Williams numbers at this tournament (including the '09 final), the TV appeal of women at the USO would either return to the low levels seen on the chart, or (considering the lesser talents dominating the likely top 20) sink to dangerous levels.

    It appears the fantasies of the aforementioned faction never take this into account. Of course, the day will come when the sisters retire--with the hypothetical ratings drop becoming a reality--but until that time, some must be honest, and wonder why the ratings took a certain course as revealed on the chart..and I dare say the reason is more than the fact the sisters are Amercian.

    NOTE:Take a look at the chart's mens' ratings: Pete Sampras or Agassi (pre-Federer) participated finals retain--by considerable amount--the highest USO ratings for men, with the lowest entry for Sampras--4.2--only a few points under that of the strongest Federer rating. As of this date, no Federer USO final--save for the one with a player from a previous generation (Agassi) has reached the height of pre-Federer Sampras or Agassi finals.

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  2. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

    Oct 17, 2007
    VA Beach
    To be fair though, these are American TV ratings. I'd be willing to bet an Oudin-Clijsters final would have scored higher, though probably still not as high as a WS final. It'd be interesting to see the int'l ratings.

    Still, the WS are the faces of the game on the women's side, even the haters have to admit as much.
  3. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

    Jul 25, 2008
    I don't understand what point you're trying to make though. Serena should still be suspended from the Australian Open, regardless of whether or not she draws ratings. And if these are US TV ratings, clearly it will be low seeing as neither Clijsters nor Wozniacki are American. It was infinitely higher quality than the awful Williams/Williams Wimbledon final.
    So yeah, I don't get what your point is? If you're just trying to show that Serena has lots of fans, then point taken. It doesn't excuse anything she did and a full punishment should still be issued.
  4. sdont

    sdont Legend

    Feb 10, 2009
    Paris, France
    These TV ratings don't show much really except the fact that casual American tennis viewers are more interested when there's an American player in the final. It's not big news. I'm pretty sure it's a common phenomenon in every country in the world and in every sport. No need for a comprehensive statistical analysis to discover this.
  5. mzzmuaa

    mzzmuaa Semi-Pro

    Sep 6, 2008
    grey's anatomy gets nearly 4x more viewers than the men's final
    good old USA
  6. Clintspin

    Clintspin Professional

    Jan 29, 2005
    The ratings have a lot more to do with the rain. Many people were confused as to when the women's final was being shown. A few of my friends missed it because they didn't realize it was moved back to ESPN 2 and that it didn't come immediately after the semis. Remember it was shown at 9pm and not the usual prime time.

  7. The US population as whole doesn't give a.........about tennis. :cry::cry::cry::cry:
  8. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

    Sep 2, 2009
    The Final were not available on network television in Canada... instead I think they were showing a pre-season football game.

    Pre-season football game.. Grand Slam final... yup I would rather watch pre-season football. NOT...
  9. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

    Dec 15, 2008
    Big thing here for the mens final was two years in a row it was move to monday at 4pm. Most people are working or coming back from work during this time and the ones not working unless they are in high school or something are not home.
  10. flying24

    flying24 Banned

    Apr 23, 2006
    I dont see what your point is. Americans would rather watch Americans than non Americans. Wow that is a revelation. If the Williams, Agassi, or Sampras were from Switzerland, Hungary, Spain, Germany or Belgium do you think as many Americans would be watching them? Dont kid yourself. Of course nobody wants to watch womens tennis period these days as even most all Williams matches in the U.S are drawing lower than the all Euro mens matches (or matches with Roddick as one of the participents). The last 2 Wimbledon finals which were all Williams were outdrawn in even the U.S by the mens finals both years, and I believe the Australian Open final involving Serena was also outdrawn by the all European mens final.

    On top of all that it is silly to think the wierd scheduling caused by the rain wouldnt negatively impact ratings. I had a hard time finding out when the finals were even on. Particuarly for the mens finals the last 2 years since as if the same number of people are ever going to watch live tennis on a Monday when most people are working anyway.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  11. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Jul 21, 2006
    maybe it's because most people don't have ESPN2 :shock:
  12. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

    Mar 1, 2009
    wow, the men's finals have really dropped in popularity. shame. seems like americans don't like tennis as much

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