Serena Williams‘ victory at the 2012 London Olympics attracted numbers that would be just about unheard of for any ‘Grand Slam’ event.
Saturday’s Olympic women’s tennis gold medal match between Williams and Maria Sharapova drew a 5.6 final rating and 7.9 million viewers on NBC. The 90-minute telecast aired from 9 AM to 10:30 AM ET and was live in all time zones.
The match also had an impressive 18 share, meaning 18% of homes with televisions in use were watching the match.
By comparison, the match portion of Williams’ victory over Agnieszka Radwanska in the Wimbledon singles final drew a 2.0 rating on ESPN.
The last time any women’s tennis Grand Slam final earned a higher rating than Saturday’s telecast was in 2001, when Williams’ loss to her sister Venus Williams in the U.S. Open final drew a 6.8 rating on CBS in primetime.
(Saturday’s numbers from NBC Universal Media Village)