Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world, and millions of people tune in front of the tv every year to watch their favorite stars competing in different tournaments. With an unprecedented and constant rise in the game’s popularity, it is not a surprise that tennis viewership statistics have also changed drastically. But how many people watch tennis exactly? Let’s take a look at what the data have to say.
Key Takeaways From The Report
- Grand Slam viewing was up 20%, with fans watching 36% longer in digital viewing.
- US Open 2022 viewership increased by 50% compared to the previous year.
- US Open is the only grand Slam when the women’s finals score a higher audience than the men’s finals; despite WTA events, viewership is on the rise.
- 2022 French OPEN attracted 42 million viewers in total.
- 2022 Wimbledon tournament was streamed 53.8 million times online, setting a new record.
- 2023 Australian Open audience ratings were 40% less than the previous year due to the absence of major tennis stars at the event.
- Serena Williams’s farewell match broke the record as the most-viewed tennis match ever on ESPN.
General Tennis Viewership Statistics
- In recent years, there has been a steady increase in tennis viewership statistics and an increase in players playing tennis. During 2019 alone, Eurosport revealed that the audience figures were up by 20% for digital media broadcasting of the Grand Slams events. Also, people were watching 36% longer content, meaning that the time watching has also increased significantly.
- In 2015, ATP events reached approximately 973 million viewers for men’s tennis, while WTA reported an audience of 396 million viewers for the ladies’ matches.
- Women’s tennis viewership has been on the rise in the last years, attracting 700 million viewers in the span of 2019 events.
- ATP Tour finals that took place in London reached a global audience of 850 million viewers in 175 different countries; from 2009 to 2019.
- Tennis viewership statistics have been on the rise in China, too, as local broadcasters that partner with WTA reported 39 million viewers reaching in 2017, a dramatic increase from only 4 million that were in 2014.
US Open Viewership Statistics
US Open is one of the world’s largest tennis tournaments, attracting millions of viewers and the interest of the worldwide sports media. ESPN has made it a tradition to release a report of the US Open tennis viewership every year that includes data for the audience numbers throughout the duration of the tournament and the number of people watching the final match. Here are some of the most interesting facts coming from these reports;
- US Open 2022 viewership increased by 50% compared to the previous year. This scores the third highest rating ever for the ESPN network, which has bought exclusive broadcasting rights since 2015.
- In 2019, the US Open Women Single final between Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams set a new record for ESPN by attracting 3.22 million viewers on average. This ranks second of all time, only after the men’s finals of 2015, between Roger Federer, which attracted an audience of 3.32 million viewers on live coverage.
- In 2018, for the first time US Open Women’s finals, where Serena Williams won against Naomi Osaka, attracted a larger audience than the men’s final on the following day when Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Martin del Potro. The women’s match had an average of 3.1 million viewers, while the men’s match scored an audience of only 2.07 million viewers.
- In recent years, the US Open women’s finals have scored more viewership numbers on large compared to the men’s finals, unlike any other Grand Slam. While the interest in women’s tennis is increasing, this success is partly on the fact that men’s final matches, traditionally played on the final Sunday of the tournament, clash with the NFL games, splitting the audience.
Wimbledon Viewership Statistics
Wimbledon is one of the year’s most anticipated events that get all tennis enthusiasts excited to watch their favorite stars competing for the prestigious trophy. It comes as a surprise that the audience numbers have skyrocketed, setting new records. Let’s take a look at some of the most important statistics.
- The 2022 Wimbledon tournament attracted 25.5 million tv viewers in total and was streamed 53.8 million times online, setting a new record. The men’s final peaked at 7.5 million viewers, while for women, it peaked at 3.1 million.
- Undoubtedly, the Wimbledon final is a classic of tennis and has always had a huge interest. The record for the most-watched Wimbledon final match is still held by Bjorn Borg, who defeated John McEnroe in 1980, gathering an average audience of 17.3 million viewers. This is a record that nobody has broken yet, even though some have come close.
- The 2012 Men’s Finals, when Roger Federer won against Andy Murray, had an average audience of 11,4 million viewers, which peaked towards the end game with 16.9 million viewers. This was the second most-watched event of the year, right after the Euro 2012 finals between England and Italy when the Brits were unlucky to bring the trophy home.
- The epic Wimbledon Men’s Final of 2019 between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer gathered 9.6 million British viewers on BBC1. The match lasted for five hours and scored the highest viewership since 2012. In the United States, ESPN reported an audience of 3.32 million on average.
- Another great moment for the Wimbledon tennis audience was the 2009 Men’s Single Finals between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. The match lasted for four hours and a half, gathering an average of 7.5 million viewers and peaking at 11.1 million.
- The highest viewership record for the Wimbledon Women’s Tournaments was set in 2017, during the quarterfinals match between Johanna Konta and Simona Halep. The audience peaked at 7.4 million viewers, which was a tremendous success for the British tournament. In the 2021 Women’s Finals, the audience peaked at 4.5 million viewers on BBC, while in 2022, the peak numbers were less, at only 3.1 million viewers.
French Open Viewership Statistics
Also known as Roland-Garros, this is one of the world’s most important tennis tournaments. In the red clay courts of Paris, star athletes challenge each other in an effort to take home a grand slam. Here are some of the most important French Open viewership statistics in recent years;
- In 2022, more than 42 million viewers watched the French Open tournament throughout the two weeks it lasted, which equals 73% of the French population. This was the best score since 2012, and the numbers went up by 3 million compared to 2021.
- The 2022 French Open Men’s Final between Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud gathered the highest tv audience since 2013, with an average of 4.6 million viewers, peaking at 6.4 million. This record surpassed the 2020 men’s finals and attracted an average of 3.77 million viewers when Nadal won his 13th grand slam.
- The 2020 French Open Women’s final match, when Iga Swiatek took home the trophy, scored an average of 1.8 million viewers. The audience numbers remained consistent compared to women’s finals in 2019 but slightly increased compared to 2018.
- The 2020 Men’s Finals between Nadal and Djokovic was broadcasted for the American audience by NBC, and it attracted 1.58 million viewers. The number was disappointing compared to the previous year when 11% more people were watching.
- Women’s French Open Final 2020 had an average of 763 thousand viewers in the US, with the numbers plummeting by 26%, compared to just a year before. This let down the high expectation of the US broadcasters, who were counting on the American Sofia Kenin, who was competing for the grand prize.to bring in larger audiences.
- The 2019 French Open Men’s Finals attracted 1.62 million American viewers on NBC, while the Women’s finals for the same year gathered an average of 1.45 million people that watched the match, 37% more than in 2018.
Australia Open Viewership Statistics
Australian Open, nicknamed the “happy slam,” is one of the most important yearly events for tennis and sports. Millions of fan tune in every year for the epic matches; however, the data coming from Melbourne are, to a certain extent, limited, considering the many differences they have with Europe and the US
- The 2023 grand slam tennis viewership plummeted by 30 to 40% compared to the previous year, leaving the organizers of the event disappointed. The Men’s Finals attracted 1.32 million, a step down from the 1.6 million viewers in 2022. The Woman’s final had an even more dramatic loss of the audience, reaching only 1.4 million viewers, which is significantly less than the 4.2 million last year.
- The 2023 Australian Open had an average of 3 to 4 million viewers less during the tournament compared with the previous year, where it scored a national record of 12.5 million viewers.
- In 2023, the Australian Open had an average of 274 thousand viewers, combining live broadcasting, re-airing, and encores. That’s 7% less than the previous year.
- In 2020, the Men finals between Novak Djokovic and Domenic Theim had an average of 2.043 local viewers and peaked at 2.6 million
- The 2020 Women’s final between Sofia Kenin and Garbine Kuburuza peaked at 1.6 million viewers at a national level.
Tennis Stars Influence over Viewership Statistics
The court’s superstars have massive power when it comes to selling tickets or gluing people in front of the tv, watching them play. National players also have the same effect, sometimes causing a huge interest increase in their respective countries whenever someone is competing for an important trophy.
- Serena Williams retired in 2022, but the tennis legend set a new record by drowning 4.8 million viewers on average and 6.9 million at peak for the last match of her career. It was a bittersweet goodbye for the tennis star, but she proved herself to be a champion until the end, as this was the most-watched match in ESPN history.
- The dramatic plummeting of 2023 Australian Open viewership was, according to experts, a result of the absence of the world tennis superstars like Serena Willams and Roger Federer, who both retired or Nadal and Kyrgious, who had to pull out due to injury.
- The US Open semi-final between Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafow was the most-watched ESPN tennis event that did not include the “fantastic four”; Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams. This match lasted for a full five hours and had, on average, 2.96 million viewers.
- During the 2020 French Open Women’s Finals, Poland set a new national record of 2.52 million viewers as the locals tuned in to support the Polish player Iga Swiatek.
- In 2019, the national audience increased by 110% in Eurosport Romania as Simona Halep won her first-ever Wimbledon Grand Slam against Serena Williams in an almost flawless performance.
- When Naomi Osaka won her first-ever Australian Open Grand Slam, the 2019 Woman’s finals became the most-watched event on Japanese tv, with a peak audience of 22.5 million viewers.
The Gender Gap in Media Coverage
Women players might continue setting new records and making history; however, the gender gap in media coverage continues to plague tennis. This is mostly a journalism problem that pays less attention to women’s events and a different terminology when referring to the ladies, even when they are literal champions.
- Data shows that during three of the Grand Slams, the media coverage spikes on men’s matches and is significantly lower when it comes to women.
- Men players continuously receive much more media coverage than women. In the classification of “50 of the best tennis players in history”, only six of them are women.
- Women’s tennis matches coverage focuses more on life off the courts, with reporters focusing more on their families, romantic partners, choice of clothes, etc.
- Women players are twice as likely to be mentioned about their specific age, health conditions, or skin color than men.
- The word “career” is mentioned 50% more for news coverage of women players.
Tennis Distribution in the Age of Social Media
Social media is not just a playground for the kids; it’s the place the event organizers must be to make tennis more appealing to Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Many of them got the memo because the online streaming of tennis matches has already given the first results on viewership statistics;
- Wimbledon has reached millions of followers on social media due to an intensive marketing campaign on related tennis content. In 2022, the Wimbledon tournament had 53.8 million online streams, surpassing the previous year’s 30.5 million online views.
- In 2022, French Open hit 19.7 million unique video views during the two weeks of the tournament, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.
- Australian Open unique streaming views have increased by 31%, while the US Open has increased by 22% on the same metric.
- The new generation of tennis stars are hyperactive on social media, using their influence to drive engagement in tennis content.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?