Though largely attributable to an NFL lead-in, the women’s final of the U.S. Open earned solid numbers for CBS Sunday afternoon.
The Serena Williams/Victoria Azarenka U.S. Open women’s final earned a 3.9 overnight rating on CBS Sunday, down 7% from last year (4.2), but up 105% from 2010, the last time the final aired in the traditional Saturday night window (1.9).
The 3.9 overnight is the third-best for the women’s final of the U.S. Open over the past decade, behind only last year and 2008 (4.3). All three finals were played on a Sunday, and all three involved Williams.
Going back further, however, the numbers simply cannot compare to when Serena and Venus Williams combined for four consecutive titles from 1999 to 2002. In those four years, the women’s final drew overnights of 7.2 (1999), 6.7 (2000), 7.7 (2001) and 7.2 (2002).
Clearly, the drawing power of the Williams sisters has declined precipitously from that point, though they remain the only players in the women’s game even slightly capable of moving the needle.
(Sunday’s overnight from Sports Business Daily)