USA Network's coverage of Pete Sampras' victory over Andre Agassi at the
U.S. Open Tennis Tournament Wednesday night posted a 4.1 rating, or 3.4 million
homes -- the largest audience for tennis in cable history, according to Nielsen
Media Research data.
The quarterfinal match bested the prior high for tennis, which was
USA's coverage of Jimmy Connors-Paul Haarhuis during the same Grand Slam event Sept. 5, 1991,
according to Ray Giacopelli, USA Cable's senior vice president of research.
That match earned a 5.9 rating and 3.38 million homes, as USA was seen in
just 62 percent of the country versus more than 80 percent today.
USA's coverage of the Sampras-Agassi match from 7 p.m.
to 12:30 a.m. averaged an audience of 4.6 million.
Through the first 10 days of its Open coverage, USA averaged a
1.9 in primetime, a 36 percent gain from the comparable stage in 2000. On a
total-day basis, USA was also up 36 percent to a 1.5 average.