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Category: Associations & Organizations - Company: ATP
ATP Players Generating Summer Heat
Interest in “Roger & Rafa” boosts TV ratings and interest as US Open Series begins; ATP tournaments reached 1.38 billion TV households worldwide through April
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alison S. Kim
07/17/06 - London, UK – Television numbers from ATP and Grand Slam tournaments through the first half of the year reflect heightened interest in tennis coverage worldwide, bolstered by the growing rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The Wimbledon final between defending champion Federer and Nadal, the first time since 1952 that the same two players had reached the Roland Garros and Wimbledon finals in the same season, scored high marks in the host nation. It attracted an average of 5.3 million viewers on BBC, with peak numbers at 7.1 million making up 44.2 percent of the viewing audience.
Meanwhile, the presence of the first Spanish Wimbledon finalist in 40 years boosted the ratings in Nadal’s home country, propelling the channel Cuatro to lead the daily share in Spain for the first time in history. Additionally, in the U.S., the final attracted a 2.5 share on NBC, a 19 percent increase from last year’s final between the Swiss and American Andy Roddick, and reached a 3.8 share at its peak. The boost bucks the traditional trend in the U.S. market where ratings drop when there is no American in the final.
“Interest in Roger and Rafa is surging in every corner of the world, and certainly here in the U.S. and Canada as the US Open Series begins,” said Mark Young, ATP CEO Americas. “Combine the interest in Federer and Nadal with the attraction of U.S. players James Blake, Andy Roddick and the No. 1 doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan and you’re looking at a sport ready to explode this summer.”
Television numbers from Wimbledon coincide with the trend of improved cumulative TV numbers for ATP tournaments this year. Through the first four months, television coverage surpassed 7,300 hours – an increase of 33 percent from 2005 – and reached more than 1.38 billion households worldwide. The first two ATP Masters Series events of the season, the Pacific Life Open and NASDAQ-100 Open held in March in the U.S., attracted the highest level of coverage, registering more than 3,500 broadcast hours during tennis’ own version of “March Madness.”
The month of April, which featured a showdown between Federer and Nadal at Masters Series Monte-Carlo, also showed a strong level of growth; the five ATP events amassed 28 percent more coverage than last April, reaching 469 million homes and increasing its viewership by 40 percent. The ATP Masters Series event in Monte-Carlo logged the most hours (1,847 hours, up 35 percent from 2005) and attracted the highest cumulative audience (23.3 million, up 76 percent from 2005).
The increased interest also has impacted ATPtennis.com, which averaged 1.5 million Unique Visitors a month from January through June, a 55 percent increase from the same period last year. The Federer-Nadal rivalry scored high marks on the Web, with Federer vs. Nadal topping head-to-head searches on ATPtennis.com and their profile pages attracting more than a combined 500,000 page impressions last month. An information packet detailing the rivalry can be found at http://www.atptennis.com/en/media/.
The US Open Series begins today with the RCA Championships in Indianapolis, where the top two Americans Blake and Roddick are among the stars playing. The tournament will be shown on The Tennis Channel and NBC. The “Greatest Road Trip in Sports” then moves to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., (coverage at both by The Tennis Channel and ESPN2) ahead of the summer’s two ATP Masters Series events in Toronto (Rogers Masters; August 7-13) and Cincinnati (Western & Southern Financial Group Masters; August 14-20) on ESPN2. The US Open Series will conclude in New Haven (ESPN2 and CBS) on the eve of the final Grand Slam of the season, the US Open, beginning August 28 (CBS and USA Network). For more information on all these tournaments, go to ATPtennis.com.
With 64 tournaments in 30 countries in 2006, the ATP showcases the finest athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the INDESIT ATP Rankings and the world’s best teams in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race contend for prestigious titles at ATP Masters Series and other ATP tournaments. The season's top eight singles players and doubles teams will earn coveted berths at the elite 2006 Tennis Masters Cup, the year-end championship held in China from Nov. 12-19. For more information, please visit www.ATPtennis.com
ATP Americas: Pete Holtermann, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1-904-285-8000
ATP Europe: Nicola Arzani, email@example.com, +377-9797-0404
ATP International Group: Stephen Duckitt, firstname.lastname@example.org, +61-2-9250-2300
ATP Mundo Latino: Benito Perez-Barbadillo, email@example.com, +377-9797-0404