A competitive women’s final at the U.S. Open attracted strong numbers on CBS.
The Serena Williams/Victoria Azarenka U.S. Open women’s final drew a 4.0 final rating and 6.2 million viewers on CBS Sunday evening, up 18% in ratings and 19% in viewership from the same matchup last year (3.4, 5.2M), and up 21% and 25%, respectively, from Williams’ match against Samantha Stosur in 2011 (3.3, 4.9M).
The match ranks as the most-viewed U.S. Open women’s final since 2002, when Williams faced her sister Venus (5.2, 7.9M). Overall, the match ranks as the most-viewed U.S. Open telecast since 2005, when Roger Federer played Andre Agassi in the men’s final (7.1M).
Serena Williams’ past four appearances in the U.S. Open final — 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013 — rank as easily the four most-viewed of the past ten years. The top non-Williams match over the past decade was Kim Clijsters against Mary Pierce in 2005, which earned a 2.7 and 4.1 million.
Of course, Williams’ past four appearances have also taken place on Sundays, including three that had a direct lead-in from the NFL.
The U.S. Open final finished well ahead of other major championship matches this year. Williams’ French Open win over Maria Sharapova earned a 1.9 final rating and 2.7 million viewers on NBC, while the Wimbledon final between Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki drew a 1.3 and 1.9 million on ESPN.
In other U.S. Open action, coverage of the women’s semifinals earned a 1.4 final rating and 1.8 million viewers on CBS Friday afternoon.
(This year’s rating/viewership from Nielsen)