In an ominous sign for women’s tennis, the two biggest stars in the sport failed to move the needle Saturday morning.
Saturday’s Serena Williams/Maria Sharapova French Open women’s final drew a 1.8 overnight rating on NBC, up only a tick from Sharapova/Sara Errani last year (1.7) and Li Na/Francesca Schiavone in 2011 (1.7).
Keep in mind the overnight rating is for the full four-hour telecast window. The match window itself (9-11 AM ET) earned a far more respectable 2.4 overnight, though comparisons to previous years are not available.
The 1.8 overnight for is tied with three other telecasts as the highest for the French Open women’s final since 2005 (1.9). The past ten French Open women’s finals have failed to earn at least a 2.0 overnight.
Serena Williams’ previous appearance in the French Open final — her 2002 victory over sister Venus Williams — drew a much stronger 3.6 overnight.
On Sunday, the Rafael Nadal/David Ferrer men’s final drew a 1.7 overnight — down 15% from Nadal/Novak Djokovic last year (2.0), and down 35% from Nadal/Roger Federer in 2011 (2.6).
The 1.7 overnight is the lowest for the men’s final since Nadal/Robin Soderling in 2010 (1.6).
Again, keep in mind that the overnight is for the full five-hour telecast window. The match window from 9-11:30 AM ET earned a 2.1 overnight, down 13% from coverage of Nadal/Djokovic last year (2.4).
(Weekend overnights from NBC Sports, Sports Business Daily)