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From Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep on the court, to Boris Becker and John McEnroe on all screens, some of the biggest stars in the world of tennis combined to see Eurosport record year-on-year audience growth of 18 per cent for the French Open.
Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton: “At a time when there is a general feeling that the amount of viewers watching live sport on TV is in decline, Eurosport continues to defy that belief with a record-breaking 18 per cent audience growth for Roland Garros, building on an overall viewership increase for Eurosport 1 of 9p er cent this year.
“Roland Garros was an extremely successful event for us. Whilst we take great pride in appealing to our hardcore tennis fans via our Tennis Explainers and The Coach segments, Eurosport also recognises the importance of broadening our audience base and appealing to the casual tennis fan – that’s why we enjoy working so much with a character such as John McEnroe in his role as Commissioner so much.”
In a year that saw Nadal secure La Decima – his tenth title at the French Open – Eurosport 1 in Spain recorded its best-ever Roland Garros with a 60 per cent year-on-year increase and an average audience of 62,000 throughout the tournament, smashing the previous best of 41,000 in 2012. 407,000 tennis fanatics watched Nadal’s imperious display in the men’s singles final against Stan Wawrinka.
Eurosport 1 Romania also reported its second best programme in the history of the channel with over 780,000 viewers tuning in to the semi-final encounter between Simona Halep and Czech Karolina Pliskova, a figure that contributed to the same match being the most watched in the entire tournament (2,942,000 viewers on average).
With Boris Becker headlining Eurosport Germany’s broadcast of Roland Garros, audience figures increased by 20 per cent in Germany compared to 2016 despite just one German player – men or women – progressing further than the first round.
Eurosport in Norway (+18 per cent vs 2016), Italy (+15 per cent vs 2016) and Sweden (+20 per cent) all recorded double-digit growth while Caroline Wozniacki’s run to the ladies singles quarter-finals helped Eurosport Denmark’s average audience figures increase a staggering 123 per cent in comparison to 12 months ago.
Later this month, Eurosport will broadcast The Championships from Wimbledon in 34 territories across the continent with the qualifying tournament from Roehampton shown for the first time on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport Player.