Women’s Tennis Global TV and Digital Audiences Leap 22.5%* to Cement Place as World’s Most Popular Women’s Sport

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Feb. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

  • Most-watched tournament of the year, BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, attracted 26.9 million viewers 
  • Viewership projected to rise year-on-year as women’s tennis draws new audiences and will offer greater media exposure from 2017 following recent half billion US dollar Perform deal to produce 2,000 televised matches 

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) today announced new global TV and digital audience figures.  The end-of-season report 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.

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The most-watched tournament of the year was BNP Paribas WTA Finals presented by SC Global Singapore, attracting 26.9 million viewers across seven days of tennis. Day 5 of the tournament, which saw both semifinals played, was the most-watched day of the tournament, where the Top 8 singles and Top 8 doubles teams compete for a $6.5 million prize fund, increasing to $7 million in 2015.

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, freshly-crowned Premier Mandatory Tournament of the Year, voted by WTA players, provided the season’s most-watched day of broadcast in 2014. 4.6 million fans accessed the semifinals from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The event also generated the largest growth in audience, a rise of 95.4%, almost doubling from 11.76 million viewers in 2013 to 22.98 million in 2014.

The 2015 BNP Paribas Open (March 9-22) will prove even more popular with the return of 19-time Grand Slam winner and 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; 9% of the season’s total online digital viewers watched coverage of the tournament.

Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO said: "We knew 2014 was going to be good, but it was beyond 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 court, day in and day out, we aim to provide a premier, compelling global sport entertainment experience for fans to enjoy. Our goal is to deepen the connection between fans and players by creating greater access to our content, distributing it on TV and digital channels, across mobile, 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 in terms of largest cumulative TV and digital audiences in 2014:

  1. BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global: 26,928,804
  2. Miami Open presented by Itau: 23,065,116
  3. BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells): 22,975,675
  4. Rogers Cup (Toronto): 20,271,499
  5. Mutua Madrid Open: 18,659,536