ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The WTA has released its new global TV and digital audience figures for 2014. 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 Premier tournaments**, emphasizing the ever-growing excitement around women's tennis tournaments and players.
The most-watched tournament of the year was the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, attracting 26.9 million viewers across seven days of tennis. Day 5 of the tournament, which saw both semifinals played, proved to be the most-watched day over the season-ending finale, which brings together the Top 8 singles players and Top 8 doubles teams with a $6.5 million prize fund.
The BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global will offer $7 million this year.
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 semifinal action from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California. 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 Miami Open delivered the largest online digital audience of the year, with 9% of the season's total online digital viewers watching coverage of the second Premier Mandatory event of the year.
"We knew 2014 was going to be good, but it was beyond our expectations," Stacey Allaster, the Chairman & CEO of the WTA, said. "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 that generated the largest cumulative TV and digital audiences for women's tennis were:
1) BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global (Singapore) - 26,928,804
2) Miami Open (Miami) - 23,065,116
3) BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) - 22,975,675
4) Rogers Cup (Montréal) - 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***.
* 22.49% according to SMG Insight report dated January 2015
** Dedicated broadcast includes all live, delayed, highlights programming. Measurement includes dedicated TV and digital coverage for 22 tournaments: 21 WTA Premier events plus the WTA Finals and are cumulative audience figures.
*** Reach refers to realistic WTA TV household reach based on existing broadcast takers.
Source: SMG Insight