Airing in the afternoon on a workday for the fifth consecutive year, it should not be a shock that overnight ratings were unimpressive for the men’s final of the U.S. Open.
The Andy Murray/Novak Djokovic U.S. Open men’s final drew a 2.3 overnight rating on CBS Monday afternoon, down 12% from last year (2.6), but up a tick from 2010* (2.2).
The 2.3 overnight is the second-lowest ever for the men’s final of the U.S. Open, ahead of only 2010.
Clearly, the Monday afternoon timeslot did not help matters. Several CBS affiliates opted not carry the match until after switching to national programming at 8 PM ET. According to Sports Business Daily, the overnight rating peaked at a 4.2 from 9-9:15 PM ET.
Overall, the last five editions of the U.S. Open men’s final rank as the lowest rated ever in metered markets. It is no coincidence that all five matches aired on Monday afternoons.
The spate of Monday finals and the absence of American stars has slowly but surely eroded the drawing power of the men’s final.
The last time the men’s final was played in the traditional Sunday afternoon window, 2007, the match between Djokovic and Roger Federer earned a 4.2 overnight.
The last time an American played in the final, 2006, the match between Federer and Andy Roddick drew a 5.1.
The last time an American with more than one major victory played in the final, 2005, the match between Federer and Andre Agassi earned a 6.2.
Finally, the last time two Americans met in the final, 2002, the match between Agassi and Pete Sampras earned a now-unattainable 7.9.
Overnight Ratings For Men’s Final of the U.S. Open
* The 2010 final, between Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, started on CBS but concluded on ESPN2.