Tennis is literally dying. Average age of TV viewers of ATP matches was 61 years

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Wait for a few years. With virtual reality like Microsoft HoloLens, you can wear a suit and experience the action from your home. Say Nadal hits a topspin winner. You can then put yourself virtually there and attempt to return the shot. You will be able to watch the game from any camera angle you want, like laying on the court and looking above at the players and the flying balls (not allowed with female players).

Machine intelligence will predict the outcome of every point 2 hours before a match begins. You as a viewer will know the prediction but the players won't, and you will be rooting for them to break the prediction.

You can also virtually roam through the player's lounge (ladies changing room not allowed) and have pre match chats with Federer and Djokovic. You can pick up rackets from their bag and "feel" them, and then with a click, order the same customized ones from TW.
I'm sure they'll make an exception and let you into the ladies changing room, no?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Based on your video, I can see why you'd say that.



Yeah let's get rid of the Grand Slam Champions and others who have forgotten more about the game than the rest of the world will ever know.



Yeah, a washed out never was who couldn't win a match on the pro tour and relies on his daddy's name to make a wannabe living. Dude couldn't hack it in college, the satellites, or his eye blinking stint on the pro tour.

The only reason Amritraj is on the Tennis Channel is the guy he replaced is a convicted felon. Otherwise, Amritraj would be still living off daddy.

Great thought there.


The tennis business is down 35% in the United States. They thought taking the personality out of the game would take out the controversy. Problem was, tennis didn't protect the game and now you have every player basically playing the same game. George Carlin once called tennis ping pong where the players stand on the table. It was funny then, it's true now.
I see only complaints and criticism and your usual whining behavior, no constructive solutions. What do you propose? People have suggested wood rackets, single serve, no poly strings, more grass tournaments, etc but nothing has worked out. What do YOU suggest? Just complaining is the easy part. Taking out personality is an irreversible process. Umpires and others are not going to tolerate misogynist behavior anymore and should not, and someone like JMac should never be allowed to play with that kind of abusive behavior towards umpires. If personality means abuse, glad to see it go. Let privileged oldies pine for the good old days when they could insult anyone and good riddance to them. What great personality traits do you suggest? Nick has made a fool of himself as much as he can.

BTW, tennis business in US is down is related but not the same issue as the pro game. Other sports like pickleball are replacing it in older demographics. There is nothing to "protect" there, though I have often said that tennis should have marketed 10-and-under game to seniors. If PBall is easier and more suitable, no need to force tennis on anyone.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Tennis Channel in American routinely shows Nick matches and talk about him constantly. That's appealing to the younger crowd, isn't it?
Really? I mean, I’m over 30 now, but especially when I was in my childhood/youth, someone like Nick couldn’t make me watch. Why should I care about someone who openly doesn’t care about tennis himself? For seeing someone fooling around on the court I just had to walk some 500 meters and there were always a few mates doing it at our local club courts.

If I watched professional sports, I wanted to see the sport and nothing else. I explicitly liked the guys who just did their performance cool like a robot. I hated those who were only showman without great skills. That’s why I was a Sampras fan. And wasn’t it similar for you with Lendl?

Now sometimes I also look at other things than only the sport, and maybe I can smile about Kyrgios a bit, but someone like that never could have been my youth Idol.
 

Rogfan

Semi-Pro
Well if you look at the average age of those 24 sports, they’re all pretty old and the average age has gone up a fair bit in the past decade across the board. So it’s not an issue just for tennis Following sports might just be a middle-older age thing. Young people don’t sit in front of a screen to follow sports anymore

And why it’s such a bad thing older people follow tennis? Tennis is an expensive sport to play and go to. Young people are not and should not be the main market target anyway. They simply don’t have the money these days to achieve the tournaments and sponsors expectations. That said it may be more healthy if average fans’ age is around 50 something
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
It's not about TV vs. internet.
It is VIEWERSHIP irrespective of the medium, which is held constant for all sports.

Tennis is dying, average viewer is higher than all other sports except golf.
Golf is all but dead. Courses closing daily.

Do you understand how ratings work? They arent accurate at all, i think one person represents 500,000 or .03% of the population.

If your watching on iptv or other services there is no way they know your watching.
 

JaoSousa

New User
In school, I hear a lot of people complaining about how tennis is too long and boring compared to sports like basketball. I think that a combination of more baseline bots making the game slightly monotonous and boring to general viewers as well as many tennis matches being two hours or more is why younger people do not watch as much tennis anymore.
 
All the sports are being compared identically.
Pick whatever medium you want, you'll get similar results.
Golf and tennis are old viewers.
NBA and soccer are young viewers.
TV, internet, live, phone streaming, whatever

PGA Tour N/A 59 64
LPGA N/A 59 63
Horse racing 51 56 63
ATP tennis 51 56 61
NASCAR N/A 49 58
MLB 52 52 57
WNBA 42 49 55
WTA Tennis 58 63 55
Olympics 45 50 53
College football 47 48 52
College basketball 44 48 52
NFL 44 46 50
Boxing 45 47 49
NHL 33 42 49
NBA 40 40 42
MLS N/A 39 40
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
I always go with sportsmedia watch for the real numbers. They also break down why

 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
In school, I hear a lot of people complaining about how tennis is too long and boring compared to sports like basketball. I think that a combination of more baseline bots making the game slightly monotonous and boring to general viewers as well as many tennis matches being two hours or more is why younger people do not watch as much tennis anymore.
I've played and watched tennis for almost 50 years and I think watching nothing but baseline bots is boring. I didn't even consider watching the Djokovic / Agut semi at Wimbledon and likely won't watch more than a few select matches of the USO.

Note that pretty consistently across the globe, 3 times as many people watched this year's Wimbledon final than last year's. As much as a vocal few on this forum love to hate Federer, the majority of people think he's the only person worth watching.

Take personalities out of it (if you can) and it's clear that the majority of people want to see all court tennis. I reckon a Federer Tsitsipas grand slam quarter would rate better than a Djokovic Agut final. I certainly know which one I'd rather watch.

The only way to bring back the skills people want to see is by implementing equipment rules limiting the size of racquet heads, plus the stiffness of frames and strings. Reversing the slow court surfaces wouldn't hurt either, but equipment is the key.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The only way to bring back the skills people want to see is by implementing equipment rules limiting the size of racquet heads, plus the stiffness of frames and strings.
I must have read that suggestion a few hundred times over the years.

Why doesn't it happen?
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
The tennis tour had more variety decades ago. Becker vs. Sampras in the 1996 YEC final in Hanover felt as big as a major final. Post-US Open today is generally not very interesting.
 

Ray Mercer

Professional
I've played and watched tennis for almost 50 years and I think watching nothing but baseline bots is boring. I didn't even consider watching the Djokovic / Agut semi at Wimbledon and likely won't watch more than a few select matches of the USO.

Note that pretty consistently across the globe, 3 times as many people watched this year's Wimbledon final than last year's. As much as a vocal few on this forum love to hate Federer, the majority of people think he's the only person worth watching.

Take personalities out of it (if you can) and it's clear that the majority of people want to see all court tennis. I reckon a Federer Tsitsipas grand slam quarter would rate better than a Djokovic Agut final. I certainly know which one I'd rather watch.

The only way to bring back the skills people want to see is by implementing equipment rules limiting the size of racquet heads, plus the stiffness of frames and strings. Reversing the slow court surfaces wouldn't hurt either, but equipment is the key.
This is spot on. Nobody wants to watch boring backboard Djokovic style tennis. Federer is the only guy worth watching nowadays with his all court game and one hander. Technology has ruined the game.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
NHL went up 14 years?? Terrible
As a Canadian, hockey is slowly dying here. 20-30 years ago everything here was about hockey as it really appealed to Gen X's and Boomers (ppl who are now all 40+), while Millennials and Gen Z's (<40 crowd) simply find sports like basketball and soccer/futbol more interesting to play and watch.
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
As a Canadian, hockey is slowly dying here. 20-30 years ago everything here was about hockey as it really appealed to Gen X's and Boomers (ppl who are now all 40+), while Millennials and Gen Z's (<40 crowd) simply find sports like basketball and soccer/futbol more interesting to play and watch.
Its strange you guys never win the stanley cup. The raptors werent very popular until this year. Maybe just bandwagon fans up there? One cup and its back to normal
 

Robert F

Semi-Pro
I worry about tennis's future. I think TV ratings and the growing age is just one hint.
Here in the outdoor season, I play on various courts to meet buddies. One club we go to, I am often the only player using one of 6 courts. Sometimes 2 or 3 are in use.
Other courts we go to, we never have to wait, always an open court and often we are alone. Regardless of time of day. Often people play for under an hour and leave.

At my indoor club, we rarely have issues reserving court time. At the club there are still plenty of people under 20, but then a big gap until 40 and over. I still feel like one of the younger players being 45.
I see similar membership distributions at other clubs in the area.

Sporting good stores used to carry good racquets, now they only carry the junk ones that are under $60.

Many of the outdoor courts have added pickleball lines and in some cases have replaced tennis courts. Many parks have also replaced tennis courts with basketball courts.

Hey, it is great for me to have access to courts, but if others aren't interested they might not be maintained and eventually go away.

With friends who don't play tennis, few know anyone except Fed/Nadal and the Williams. Some will know Osaka or Djoker.
 
The nation is aging, in general. Our greatest champions are relatively old. People mention this "aging" bit all the time as if there is something
disgraceful in not dying off. Would you like to see matches played on skate boards?
 
Inderdaad!

Anyway, watching TV is indeed dying out slowly, and watching sports in general has been on the decline among young people for years across the board,
with very few exceptions (I seem to remember soccer and the NBA to still be doing okay in terms of younger viewers).
Watching e-sports has been on the rise among youngsters on the other hand, make of that what you will. While I don't understand it myself, there must be something in e-sports that makes it more appealing for younger viewers than the traditional sports. Maybe it's the pace of the action itself, maybe the length of an event, or simply the broadcasting format itself.
I see a lot of people sort of "watching" TV and sports in a bifurcated way. They do not often just sit down and watch a show, or game, or event - at least as much as before. They might watch a portion of something, then watch clips of highlights after, talk about it on social media, post comments and snippets on line, etc. So, they're aware of it, even engaged with it, but not directly "watching" it, at least not in full. Awards shows (Oscars, etc.) have been lamenting their dwindling audience. They just don't get it - people are still interested and aware, but less people are willing to sit down and watch a four hour show. They do what I just said - talk about it online, watch clips, maybe passively watch it while they do other things (like play on social media).
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Young people don’t have the time to sit around watching 5 hour finals and SF’s at a time. We can’t jusy watch a tournament for an entire two weeks, we have to work three jobs to earn the same wage as what boomers used to earn in one job. The luxury isn’t there anymore. It’s a changing concept that will be seen across a variety of sports, not just tennis. If you want to be able to afford a house you can’t spend your time sitting in front of a TV watching Isner v Anderson for hours and hours.
 

EllieK

Professional
If we get a good crop of youngsters taking some of the titles, it would bring back some of the younger viewers. When all they are seeing is the same thirty somethings at the end of the tournaments, it's boring. Was happy to see Medvedev win and see both Djoker and Fed taken out by next gen. Tennis needs new blood
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
I must have read that suggestion a few hundred times over the years.

Why doesn't it happen?
I think in general, people don't understand what has happened and the ITF/ATP don't want them to understand .. because it reflects badly on their stewardship of the game.

20-30 years ago as racquets got stiffer it was very easy to see the effect that had on the serve. With the exception of limiting racquet length to 29" (why not 27?), the only response was to advantage the returner. Most people thought this was fair enough.

However, this polar view of reducing the dominance of the serve almost exclusively by advantaging the returner has seen virtually all subtlety removed from the game.

Note that before the advent of graphite racquets gave rise of huge serves, the ITF knew that "undue spin" would ruin the game:


"The spirit of this rule is to prevent undue spin on the ball that would result in a change in the character of the game"

That was in response to string savers that gripped the ball, which is essentially what strings do now.

So I guess first the ITF and ATP have to admit they got it wrong, which they have not done. Then of course there's the issue of backlash from the generation of players without all court skills, whose game is almost completely reliant upon the kind of advantage the 1978 rule change sought to avoid.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
The council only cares about themselves.
The top players dont care about fans or tournament organizors.
Tournament organizors dont care about the fans or the players (just $$$)
Wilson cannot make two rackets that weigh the same.
Like
 

Crisstti

Legend
It's because tennis channels and forums do almost nothing to appeal to the younger crowd. Old commentators who have outdated views, the TV shows have boring presenters with no sense of excitement, just muted appreciation of the sport and they barely ever focus on the new players and then wonder why people don't know who they are. Hell, even the once decent forums don't have any style anymore, removing things like the like button and deleting threads with any kind of free thinking or new views on players and the sport itself.

The sport is still exciting, there ARE new exciting players on the tour who don't need to spit on umpires to get attention and MAYBE some of them need to step up on-court too but the media doesn't do them any favours when all they report is the controversy.
I'd like this if I could.
 

Crisstti

Legend
Tennis Channel in American routinely shows Nick matches and talk about him constantly. That's appealing to the younger crowd, isn't it? It's not like a Thiem match is going to light a fire under anyone's ass, whether they're 17 or 77.
Uhm why not? Guy's a better tennis player than Kyrgios. I don't think someone being an idiot is what would make a sport popular.
 
Uhm why not? Guy's a better tennis player than Kyrgios. I don't think someone being an idiot is what would make a sport popular.
I love tennis, and watch several matches a week regardless of the tourney. However, I usually just have them on in the background unless it is some top players. When NK is playing I usually just have it on background as well, but he tends to draw me in and I get entertained by it.

Now, maybe it will wear off eventually, but he can bring some to the TV, as he always does either something crazy or lights it up.

But that's just me...
 

Crisstti

Legend
Well if you look at the average age of those 24 sports, they’re all pretty old and the average age has gone up a fair bit in the past decade across the board. So it’s not an issue just for tennis Following sports might just be a middle-older age thing. Young people don’t sit in front of a screen to follow sports anymore
But they do. With the competition of internet and video games it gets its time limited naturally, but sports are still popular... Is the study even that representative? Seems it only considers the USA.
In Chile for example, the traditionally most popular sport, football (soccer) still seems as popular as ever. Tennis is less popular than it was in the times of Marcelo Ríos, Fernando González and Nico Massú, but that's only logical.
My 14 year old nephew loves basquetball and isn't much into football.
Didn't the Canada masters have a record audience this year?.
 

Crisstti

Legend
All the people I know who watch tennis hate servebots btw, much more so than baseline bots, which isn't really even a thing. Fact is, you can find a lot of variety in the tennis of people who play mainly from the baseline.

Banning poly and using wood racquets? are people suggesting this even serious? I doubt this would appeal to younger people, pretty sure it's older people who suggest it too.

I don't think anyone cares about the age of tennis commentators either. It's the style that counts.
 
But they do. With the competition of internet and video games it gets its time limited naturally, but sports are still popular... Is the study even that representative? Seems it only considers the USA.
In Chile for example, the traditionally most popular sport, football (soccer) still seems as popular as ever. Tennis is less popular than it was in the times of Marcelo Ríos, Fernando González and Nico Massú, but that's only logical.
My 14 year old nephew loves basquetball and isn't much into football.
Didn't the Canada masters have a record audience this year?.
Yep, I have to agree, being from Canada, tennis is on the rise for youth. Yes, this has a lot to do with the past 10 years (having some Canadian tennis stars), but many more parents shy away from hockey then in the past due to head injuries.

I grew up playing hockey my whole life and most everyone I knew did too. However, myself and several of my friends have already said they won't let their children play it seriously. It's insanely expensive as well, even in Northern Quebec.

However, if FAA and Shapo can start winning slams, I think tennis will boom here, it is ready for it. I think this is the case for many countries, even the US. Imagine 2 or more Americans in the top 10 winning slams? It would bring popularity back.

I am sure Murray did that for the UK, and others for their countries as well, but America is a huge market.
 
All the people I know who watch tennis hate servebots btw, much more so than baseline bots, which isn't really even a thing. Fact is, you can find a lot of variety in the tennis of people who play mainly from the baseline.

Banning poly and using wood racquets? are people suggesting this even serious? I doubt this would appeal to younger people, pretty sure it's older people who suggest it too.

I don't think anyone cares about the age of tennis commentators either. It's the style that counts.
Yep. NFL is huge (basketball too) in Canada and the US, yet the commentators are all really old. Same with Hockey for the most part.
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
All the people I know who watch tennis hate servebots btw, much more so than baseline bots, which isn't really even a thing. Fact is, you can find a lot of variety in the tennis of people who play mainly from the baseline.

Banning poly and using wood racquets? are people suggesting this even serious? I doubt this would appeal to younger people, pretty sure it's older people who suggest it too.

I don't think anyone cares about the age of tennis commentators either. It's the style that counts.
Baseline bots are definitely a thing. As are serve bots. No-one could argue that either are as interesting as all court tennis.

Who suggested going back to wooden racquets? I don't think I've ever seen that suggestion made.

As for poly, the vast majority of spectators would have no idea what strings are made of .. but they'd love to see matches that are more than a baseline slog-fest or procession of aces. If getting rid of poly achieves that, then why not ban it?

As I said, there'd be a backlash from baseline bots and their fans, but it would benefit the sport as a whole.
 

Crisstti

Legend
Yep, I have to agree, being from Canada, tennis is on the rise for youth. Yes, this has a lot to do with the past 10 years (having some Canadian tennis stars), but many more parents shy away from hockey then in the past due to head injuries.

I grew up playing hockey my whole life and most everyone I knew did too. However, myself and several of my friends have already said they won't let their children play it seriously. It's insanely expensive as well, even in Northern Quebec.

However, if FAA and Shapo can start winning slams, I think tennis will boom here, it is ready for it. I think this is the case for many countries, even the US. Imagine 2 or more Americans in the top 10 winning slams? It would bring popularity back.

I am sure Murray did that for the UK, and others for their countries as well, but America is a huge market.
It's really all it'd take.
 

Crisstti

Legend
Baseline bots are definitely a thing. As are serve bots. No-one could argue that either are as interesting as all court tennis.

Who suggested going back to wooden racquets? I don't think I've ever seen that suggestion made.

As for poly, the vast majority of spectators would have no idea what strings are made of .. but they'd love to see matches that are more than a baseline slog-fest or procession of aces. If getting rid of poly achieves that, then why not ban it?

As I said, there'd be a backlash from baseline bots and their fans, but it would benefit the sport as a whole.
What I mean is people in general don't think of it in those terms, or at all. They might think the player's boring, but that's it. Everyone notices though when the time between serves is much longer than the points themselves because they've over immediatly.

And people can still very effectively use the serve. Look at Isner. Hell, Medveded lately.
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
What I mean is people in general don't think of it in those terms, or at all. They might think the player's boring, but that's it. Everyone notices though when the time between serves is much longer than the points themselves because they've over immediatly.

And people can still very effectively use the serve. Look at Isner. Hell, Medveded lately.
People don't know tennis is boring because of stiff oversized racquets with poly strings, they just know it is boring and have switched off.

Again, it's not about advantaging serve bots over baseline bots or vice versa. It's that polar thinking that is the problem.
 

robthai

Hall of Fame
peak of tennis popularity was 2005-2009 because of the Fedal rivalry. With no new young players coming up to challenge, there have been no new story lines to tell. Story lines are what sell tennis matches to the casual audience. Today we just have the same story line of big 3 dominating a field of dinosaurs.
 

SumYungGai

Semi-Pro
Dude I'm basically watching tennis on crappy streams, literally zero TV so nothing is registered in the official stats. I imagine most people in their 20s and 30s who watch tennis are doing exactly what I am doing.
Anecdotal, but I'm doing the same. More selection, and don't have to pay for garbage tier packages from cable or tennis channel. A la cart needs to happen if cable wants any real revenue from the younger crowd.
 
Tennis is literally dying. Average age of TV viewers of ATP matches was 61 years
Young people have zero interest in watching tennis.
U.S. ratings or worldwide?

I'm not surprised in the U.S. It's become something of a minor sport. You drive by courts now and no one's playing. Back in the '70's when I was in my teens all the courts were full and people were waiting to play. For whatever reason people stopped playing tennis here. It's strange because it's a sport you can play for practically free and you only need two participants, or just one if you want to hit against a wall. Try playing football or baseball with two players.

Tennis is also a sport you can play for a lifetime. I think Americans in general just participate less in sports. Think of all the time spent playing videogames now. That's taking away time from sports participation.

I think outside of the U.S. tennis is still more popular. Believe it or not but American football and baseball isn't as popular outside the U.S.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
But they do. With the competition of internet and video games it gets its time limited naturally, but sports are still popular... Is the study even that representative? Seems it only considers the USA.
In Chile for example, the traditionally most popular sport, football (soccer) still seems as popular as ever. Tennis is less popular than it was in the times of Marcelo Ríos, Fernando González and Nico Massú, but that's only logical.
My 14 year old nephew loves basquetball and isn't much into football.
Didn't the Canada masters have a record audience this year?.
Yes, the Canada Masters had a record audience this year and they got a higher attendance than Cincinnati:


(y)
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
Rubin wants tennis to become a team sport so he can join a union and receive a salary.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Young people don’t have the time to sit around watching 5 hour finals and SF’s at a time. We can’t jusy watch a tournament for an entire two weeks, we have to work three jobs to earn the same wage as what boomers used to earn in one job. The luxury isn’t there anymore. It’s a changing concept that will be seen across a variety of sports, not just tennis. If you want to be able to afford a house you can’t spend your time sitting in front of a TV watching Isner v Anderson for hours and hours.
We were all sitting here, actually.
 
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