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ESPN Winning at Wimbledon with Double-Digit Audience, Male Demo Gains

ESPN's first year of U.S. coverage exclusivity from the lawns of Wimbledon is yielding double-digit audience and male demo gains.
Through July 4, the worldwide leader has scored its largest viewership in its 10 years from the All England Lawn Tennis Club. ESPN2/ESPN's combined coverage averaged 727,000 viewers, a 24% advance from the 588,000 for ESPN2 alone with the 2011 Wimbledon, according to Nielsen data. The average rating grew 20% to a 0.6 mark from a 0.5.
While ESPN/ESPN2's rating matched last year's delivery from NBC/ESPN2 coverage, the key male demographic groups recorded double-digit gains: guys 18 to 34, up 28%; males 18 to 49, ahead 30%; and men 25 to 54, 21% amelioration.
Two ESPN telecasts during the fortnight now stand as the sports giant's most-watched ever from Wimbledon -- 979,000 homes on June 30 and 978,000 on July 4. Both telecasts averaged a 1.0 coverage rating, tying ESPN's best ever at The Championships -- ESPN2 on July 4, 2007 for the ladies' quarterfinals; ESPN on July 4, 2003 for a gentlemen's semifinal; and ESPN on July 1, 2004, for a women's semi.
Saturday June 30's 10-hour, 10-minute ESPN telecast -- the third longest Wimbledon telecast ever, behind only an ESPN2 telecast in 2010 and the first night of the fortnight this year -- earned a 0.9 U.S. rating, the best for the "middle Saturday" since NBC and ESPN2 combined for a 1.0 in 2007.
On July 4, officials said the value of its "Cross Court Coverage" on ESPN and ESPN2 was on display as both networks presented live matches, with the latter providing nine hours and the former seven. The ESPN/ESPN2 combined rating was 1.0, 43% more than the 0.7 mark for ESPN2/NBC last year, with the audience improving 51% to 1.35 million viewers from 895,000. The key male demographic groups all more than doubled: guys 18 to 34, males 18 to 49 and men 25 to 54, soared 134%, 123% percent and 122%, respectively.
Digitally, ESPN3/WatchESPN registered 72.1 million live minutes of viewing, up 86% compared to same point of the 2011 tourney.