By DAVID BAUDER, AP Media Author
NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams’ lengthy goodbye to the U.S. Open proved a boon to ESPN.
Going through down the potential of a first-round knockout, Williams as a substitute gave the sports activities community 4 nights of prime-time programming final week, along with her eventual loss to Ajla Tomljanovic reaching the most important viewers of any tennis match in ESPN’s 43-year historical past.
ESPN fortunately adjusted on the fly, asking Open officers to maneuver Williams’ doubles match along with her sister Venus to Thursday night, and transferring a university soccer sport off its predominant community on Friday to make room for the match with Tomljanovic.
That Friday match reached 4.8 million viewers, peaking at 6.9 million, the Nielsen firm mentioned. It beat the earlier record-holder, the 2012 Wimbledon males’s closing between Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
“We knew it was going to be an enormous story,” mentioned John Suchenski, ESPN’s programming director, on Wednesday. “I am unsure we knew how a lot it was going to play out, audience-wise. Clearly, we’re thrilled by the numbers.”
Williams’ first-round victory over Danka Kovinic final Monday, together with a post-match ceremony, was seen by 2.7 million individuals — or 289% above comparable first spherical protection in 2021, Nielsen mentioned. Wednesday’s victory over Anett Kontaveit reached 3.6 million. Thursday’s sister act, the primary time ESPN has proven a doubles match in prime time, averaged 2.2 million.
Suchenski mentioned he hoped for a “halo impact” that will increase the Open scores for a Williams-less second week, however ESPN is cognizant of actuality.
“The primary week was the Serena Open,” tennis analyst John McEnroe mentioned throughout Sunday’s protection. “Now it is the U.S. Open.”
Amongst broadcast networks final week, ABC led with a primary time common of 4.2 million viewers. NBC had 2.63 million, CBS had 2.56 million, Fox had 1.6 million, Univision had 1.1 million, Ion Tv had 1 million and Telemundo had 860,000.
ESPN led all of the cable networks with a mean of two.58 million, Fox Information had 2.1 million, MSNBC had 1.36 million, HGTV had 870,000 and USA had 842,000.
The streaming debut of “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy” reached an estimated 1.8 million U.S. households final weekend, in line with Samba TV. That is Amazon Prime’s largest debut of the 12 months, the analysis firm mentioned.
ABC’s “World Information Tonight” received the night information scores race with 7.2 million viewers final week, Nielsen mentioned. NBC’s “Nightly Information” had 6 million and the “CBS Night Information” had 4.1 million.
For the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 4, the 20 most-watched packages in prime time, their networks and viewerships:
1. School Soccer: Notre Dame at Ohio State, ABC, 10.53 million.
2. School Soccer: Florida St. at LSU, ABC, 7.55 million.
3. “America’s Bought Expertise” (Tuesday), NBC, 6.36 million.
4. “America’s Bought Expertise” (Wednesday), NBC, 5.48 million.
5. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 5.12 million.
6. U.S. Open Tennis (Friday), ESPN, 4.56 million.
7. “Password,” NBC, 3.92 million.
8. “Huge Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 3.8 million.
9. “FBI,” CBS, 3.7 million.
10. “Huge Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 3.68 million.
11. School Soccer: Penn State at Purdue, Fox, 3.51 million.
12. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox Information, 3.39 million.
13. “Bachelorette: Males Inform All,” ABC, 3.32 million.
14. “Press Your Luck,” ABC, 3.294 million.
15. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox Information, 3.288 million.
16. “Huge Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 3.27 million.
17. “Younger Sheldon,” CBS, 3.208 million.
18. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 3.206 million.
19. School Soccer: West Virginia at Pittsburgh, ESPN, 3.15 million.
20. “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 3.14 million.
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