Despite featuring one of the most prominent names in tennis, the women’s final at the Australian Open saw a substantial ratings decline from last year.
Serena Williams‘ win over Dinara Safina drew a 0.5 cable rating and 594,000 viewers on ESPN2 early Saturday morning, down 67% and 70% from a 1.5 and 2 million viewers for last year’s Maria Sharapova/Ana Ivanovic final.
Williams/Safina is also off 74% and 73% from the last Australian Open women’s final to feature an American — the 2007 match between Serena Williams and Sharapova, which drew a 1.9 cable rating and 2.2 million viewers.
The big decline in ratings can be mainly attributed to this year’s women’s final airing live at 3:30 AM ET. Previous women’s finals have aired at the much more ratings friendly time of 9:30 PM ET.
Ratings for women’s final at Australian Open.
* all ratings are cable ratings
0.5: S. Williams/Safina (Sat., 1/31/09, 3:30 AM ESPN2)
1.5: Sharapova/Ivanovic (Fri., 1/25/08, 9:30 PM ESPN2)
1.9: S. Williams/Sharapova (Fri., 1/26/07, 9:30 PM ESPN2)
0.9: Mauresmo/Henin (Fri., 1/27/06, 9:30 PM ESPN2)
1.5: S. Williams/Davenport (Fri., 1/28/05, 9:30 PM ESPN2)