Tennis Channel netted some strong French Open ratings during its first week of coverage from the clay court Grand Slam event.
Now in its sixth year of coverage from Roland Garros, Tennis Channel averaged a 0.61 coverage rating from May 27 through June 2, translating into 319,738 homes, according to Nielsen. That was up 17% from a 0.52 average during its first week presentation of the 2011 tourney. Tennis, which counts some 34 million subscribers, had seen its base grow to 55 million homes during the fortnight, owing to an expansive freeview with a number of top distributors.
Tennis' delivery was aided by its coverage of Virginie Razzano's upset of No. 5 seed Serena Williams in the opening round on May 29. The match's 1.02 rating ranked first among all cable services in Tennis' household coverage area, according to network officials, averaging 533,170 homes during the time period. With a 1.60 rating, the match generated more than 1 million viewers at its apex, making it the highest-rated early round tournament play in network history. Matches involving Maria Sharapova (0.95), Victoria Azarenka (0.84) and John Isner (0.68) also bolstered the network's Nielsen fortunes
The daily premieres of French Open Tonight, the primetime news, interview and analysis show, also established new highs, averaging a 0.52 rating, 51% above the show's 0.35 mark in 2011, according to Nielsen data. Over the first seven days of the 2012 tourney, French Open Tonight played in 272,563 homes on average.