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Serena Williams’ U.S. Open Match Averages 2.7M Viewers

  • Williams' victory over Danka Kovinic on Monday brought in nearly four times the viewership from 2021.
  • The 23-time Grand Slam winner plays again on Wednesday night.
Serena-Williams
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Serena Williams’ farewell tour during the U.S. Open is generating big TV ratings for ESPN.

The Worldwide Leader’s coverage of Williams’ straight-sets victory over Danka Kovinic on Monday night averaged 2.7 million viewers — nearly four times the viewership ESPN earned in the comparable primetime window in 2021.

It sets the stage for another big number Wednesday night as Williams takes on No. 2 seed Anna Kontaveit.

The frenzy surrounding the 23-time Grand Slam winner’s expected final tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center generated enormous numbers all day for ESPN.

  • Viewership for Williams’ Monday night match peaked at 3.2 million between 9-9:15 p.m. ET. ESPN Digital Properties totaled 2 million unique users — the most-trafficked first day of a U.S. Open.
  • ESPN averaged a record 1.7 million viewers for “Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM” from 7 p.m.-12:03 a.m. ET. — up 279% from last year and 40% from the previous high in 2019.
  • The combined total day average of 843,000 viewers was up 4% from the previous U.S. Open best of 819,000 in 2019.

ESPN’s Ace

ESPN signed an 11-year, $770 million deal with USTA in 2013 for broadcasting rights to the U.S. Open. CBS, which held the rights for more than 45 years, had turned down a deal reportedly worth an annual $30 million.