This being the first year of a 12 year contract with the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, ESPN’s expanded all-cable coverage of Wimbledon is even with last year. ESPN says its combined ratings with ESPN2 for the first six days of the two week tournament are 0.5, even with last year when NBC and ESPN2 aired the entire proceedings. ESPN points out that its audience is younger especially in male demographics.
The Alleged Worldwide Leader points out that the online audience through ESPN3 and WatchESPN has gone up dramatically from last year.
So let’s take a look at the ESPN press release on its Wimbledon coverage.
ESPN’s 10th Wimbledon – exclusive and all live – enjoyed an eight percent increase over its household audience last year through the first six days of marathon telecasts, highlighted by its biggest household audience ever in 10 years, for Saturday’s latest-ever finish at Wimbledon.
After six days, the ESPN/ESPN2 presentation is up eight percent in household impressions to 569,000 homes compared to ESPN2’s telecasts last year (based on a 0.5 US rating both years), according to Nielsen.
ESPN/ESPN2 are even with last year’s ESPN2/NBC rating of 0.5 (US rtg) to date. Nevertheless, the audiences for the key male demos are all seeing an advantage over last year — M18-34 is up 13 percent, M18-49 is up 20 percent, and M25-54 is up 11 percent.
On Saturday, the ten-hour, ten-minute ESPN telecast (the third longest Wimbledon telecast ever, behind only an ESPN2 telecast in 2010 and Day One this year) – earned a 0.9 US rating, the best for the “middle Saturday” since 2007 (1.0). The ESPN coverage rating of 1.0 ties the ESPN Wimbledon record (two previous 1.0 ratings: ESPN2 on July 4, 2007 for the Ladies’ Quarterfinals, and ESPN on July 4, 200 for a Gentlemen’s Semifinal). The telecast ended with Andy Murray’s victory over Marcos Baghdatis in the latest-ever finish at Wimbledon (11:02 p.m. in London).
Digital consumption of Wimbledon action on ESPN3 and WatchESPN through six days has soared over the usage a year ago. Through the first week of Wimbledon, there was a total of 46.6 million live minutes consumed across all platforms (computer, smartphone, tablet and Xbox), up 67 percent from 2011 through the same point.
The ESPN/ESPN2 “Cross Court Coverage” – an unprecedented approach whereby ESPN focuses on Centre Court matches while ESPN2 offers fans a “grounds pass” with action from Court 1 and other courts – will continue with all-day marathons on both networks today, Tuesday, and Wednesday, July 4.
ESPN will present the semifinals and finals live Thursday – Sunday. All four days will commence with the one-hour Breakfast at Wimbledon, hosted by Hannah Storm. ABC will reair the finals on the day they take place, July 7 and 8, at 3 p.m. ET.
All the action on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available through WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. ESPN 3D will televise live the final five days of action from Centre Court beginning with the men’s quarterfinals Wednesday, July 4.
The new schedule is the result of a 12-year agreement between ESPN and the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced just after the conclusion of the 2011 Championships. The remaining schedule:
Date Time (ET) Event Network Wed, July 4 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals,
ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live Thur, July 5 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live Fri, July 6 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gentlemen’s Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live Sat, July 7 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Ladies’ Final ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live 3 – 6 p.m. Ladies’ Final ABC Tape Sun, July 8 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Final ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live 3 – 6 p.m. Gentlemen’s Final ABC Tape
We’re done here.