Short on starpower, the Men’s and Women’s Finals of the 2011 Australian Open both had declines on ESPN2 last weekend.
The Kim Clijsters/Li Na Women’s Final earned a 0.4 U.S. rating and 476,000 viewers on ESPN2 early Saturday morning, down 20% in ratings and 38% in viewership from last year (S. Williams/Henin: 0.5, 765K), and even in ratings and down 20% in viewership from 2009 (S. Williams/Safina: 0.4, 594K).
A 9 AM repeat of the Women’s Final drew a more respectable 0.5 and 701,000 viewers, and a 10 PM repeat drew a 0.3 and 588,000. Ratings for encore telecasts of last year’s Women’s Final were unavailable.
The declines were even sharper for Sunday’s Men’s Final, which featured neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal.
The Novak Djokovic/Andy Murray Men’s Final drew a 0.4 and 563,000 viewers on ESPN2 early Sunday morning, down 33% in ratings and 31% in viewership from last year (Federer/Murray: 0.6, 817K), and down 50% and 43%, respectively, from 2009 (Nadal/Federer: 0.8, 982K).
Ratings and viewership for encore telecasts of the Men’s Final were not available.
For some perspective, the last Australian Open Men’s Final that did not involve Federer or Nadal — Djokovic/Tsonga in 2008 — earned 698,000 viewers.