The US Open women’s final between teenagers Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu attracted a bigger audience on ESPN than the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev, the US-based sports channel said today.
The channel announced that Saturday’s live broadcast of the women’s final attracted a peak audience of 3.4 million viewers while the men’s final attracted a peak audience of 2.7 million, the following day. The women’s clash between these two unlikely teenagers was the first final in the Open Era where both of the players were unseeded. The broadcast averaged at around 2.44 million viewers which is 37% higher than the viewership count of last year’s final between Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka.
A day after 18-year-old qualifier Raducanu pulled off one of the unlikeliest campaigns in the history of Tennis, Novak Djokovic also wanted to create history by becoming only the second man to win a calendar Grand Slam. He had to go through World No.2 Dannil Medvedev but failed as Medvedev produced an excellent performance to stop Djokovic’s run this year. The Serb World No.1 lost his chance to surpass the tally of Federer and Nadal as he is stuck at 20 Grand Slams and couldn’t become the first man in 52 years to win all four majors in the same year.
The final averaged at around 2.05 million viewers which is up by 37% this year, compared to last. The final on Sunday afternoon in the USA faced stiff competition from the first week of the NFL season. The whole tournament averaged around 881,000 viewers in U.S Prime Time which was a 33% jump in viewership since last year and there was a 13% increase for the last two weeks of the broadcast, according to ESPN.
In the UK, Channel 4 signed with Amazon Prime to broadcast the matches on free TV. The women’s final between Fernandez and their star, Raducanu had a peak viewership of about 9.2 million.