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Serena Williams’ Last Dance Continues To Spark Big TV Numbers

  • ESPN’s prime time U.S. Open coverage rose 289% Wednesday night.
  • TV audience for tennis legend's 2nd-round win peaked at 5 million viewers.
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Serena Williams’ last dance at the U.S. Open continues to produce monster TV numbers for ESPN.

The retiring Williams’ second-round victory over Anett Kontaveit Wednesday night averaged 2.3 million viewers in the “PrimeTime at the US Open” window from 7 pm to 12:13 am ET.

That was up 289% from ESPN’s comparable primetime coverage of Day 3 last year.

The Williams vs. Kontaveit match alone averaged 3.6 million viewers, according to Sports Media Watch. The audience peaked at 5 million viewers from 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET as Williams powered her way to victory over the world’s No. 2 player in the dramatic three-set match.

Like her opening-round victory Monday night, the 40-year-old Williams helped drive big numbers all day for ESPN’s coverage from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. 

The tennis legend’s 2nd round thriller helped ESPN win the night among all broadcast/cable networks for the advertiser-coveted Men and Adults aged 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54.

ESPN covered Williams and sister Venus Williams’ doubles match in primetime on Wednesday night. 

Serena Williams’ next singles match comes Friday, Sept. 2, as she takes on Ajla Tomljanovic, a 29-year-old from Croatia (7 p.m. ET). 

Her magical run has helped the Worldwide Leader secure the most-watched early-round telecasts on ESPN networks.

It’s not just TV ratings. Williams has driven U.S. Open attendance and ticket sales to record levels.

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