· Figures projected to rise year-on-year as women’s tennis draws new audiences, deeper fan engagement and will offer greater media exposure thanks to 10-year deal with Perform to produce 2,000 televised matches from year 2017
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) today announced new global TV and digital audience figures. The end-of-season report compiled by SMG Insight, reported a staggering year-on-year leap in 2014 viewership, up 22.5% from 2013, for the dedicated broadcast of 22 WTA premier tournaments**, emphasizing the ever-growing excitement around women’s tennis tournaments and players.
The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, fresh from being crowned Premier Mandatory Tournament of the Year as voted for by the WTA players themselves, provided the season’s most-watched day of broadcast for women’s tennis in 2014. A total of 4.6 million fans accessed the semifinals action from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California, USA. The event also generated the largest growth in audience, almost doubling from 11.76 million viewers in 2013 to 22.98 million in 2014; a rise of 95.4%.
The 2015 BNP Paribas Open (March 9-22) will surely prove to be even more popular with the return of 19-time Grand Slam winner and current World No.1 Serena Williams to Indian Wells following a 14-year hiatus.
The Miami Open presented by Itau (March 25-April 5), delivered the largest online digital audience of the year, with 9% of the season’s total online digital viewers watching coverage of the tournament in March.
Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO said: “We knew 2014 was going to be good, but it was beyond our expectations. Fans want to get close to the athletes and follow them when they want, where they want, season-long, as they play tournaments around the world. By continuing to put an inspiring and competitive product on the court, day in and day out, we aim to provide a premier, compelling global sport entertainment experience for our fans to enjoy. Our goal is to deepen the engagement between fans and players by creating greater access to our content, distributing it on TV and digital channels, across mobile platforms and engage with fans on social media. What was so exciting in 2014 was to see how much fans enjoyed watching and engaging with our game.”
Top 5 tournaments across the 2014 WTA season which generated the largest cumulative TV and digital audiences for women’s tennis were:
1) BNP Paribas WTA Finals presented by SC Global (Singapore) – 26,928,804
2) Miami Open presented by Itau (Miami) – 23,065,116
3) BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) – 22,975,675
4) Rogers Cup (Toronto) – 20,271,499
5) Mutua Madrid Open (Madrid) – 18,659,536
According to the 2014 SMG Insight report, in terms of annual reach, WTA news segments reached 1.1 billion households. WTA magazine programming reached more than 530 million homes in 2014; up +13.5% compared to 2013***.