Wimbledon 2013 draws historic audiences for ESPN
The 2013 fortnight of the Wimbledon tournament provided two of ESPN’s biggest five audiences for tennis in its 33-plus years. In addition, the WatchESPN app saw its usage rise for the event by nearly four-fold.
The men’s final saw Scotland’s Andy Murray end Great Britain’s 77-year drought in a straight-sets triumph over Novak Djokovic. ESPN’s telecast drew a 1.7 Fast National US rating, according to Nielsen, representing an average of 1,894,000 homes and 2,456,000 viewers (P2+) – the second largest audience in ESPN tennis history, behind only last year’s men’s tournament (2,876,000 households and 3,925,000 viewers). The rating for Sunday’s final peaked at a 2.8 for the final 30 minutes of the telecast (12-12:30 p.m. ET). Last year’s four-set match between Roger Federer and Murray peaked at 4.1 for the half hour starting at 1 p.m.
In addition, Saturday’s telecast of the ladies’ final – which saw No. 15 Marion Bartoli winning her first major title over No. 23 Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4 – and the Gentlemen’s Doubles Championship – which saw Bob and Mike Bryan winning their 15th major and third in a row – drew a 0.9 US rating for the five-hour telecast. The average audience of 1,061,000 homes and 1,302,000 viewers is the fifth best in ESPN tennis history.
Digital consumption of ESPN content continues to grow strongly, and Wimbledon was no exception. For WatchESPN and ESPN3, the strongest day of the tournament was July 5, logging 16 million live minutes viewed across computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox and Apple TV.
Specifically, usage of the WatchESPN app on smartphones and tablets throughout the entire tournament was up 274 percent in live minutes viewed. Additionally, the average number of daily viewers nearly doubled, up 89 percent, while minutes per viewer via the app more than doubled, up 110 percent.
Across the two weeks of the tournament, ESPN.com Tennis video starts were up eight percent at 2.1 million. Additionally, average daily traffic to the Tennis card on the ScoreCenter app during the tournament more than doubled in unique viewers (up 138 percent) and visits (up 118 percent). Usage nearly tripled in minutes (up 195 percent) and average minute audience (up 195 percent).