The biggest tennis showdown on the planet, The Wimbledon Championships, has attracted record-breaking viewership on its return this year. An audience of 15.5 million on BBC has tuned in to watch the marquee tennis tournament this year.
Due to the pandemic, Wimbledon authorities had to cancel the premier tennis event last year and as a result, suffered huge losses. Thus, both the authorities and fans were looking forward to this year’s Championships. And understandably, the viewership skyrocketed in the first 44 hours of coverage. The record-breaking viewership is almost double the number achieved in 2019. The first three days of action notched up an audience of 8.4 million in 2019, which is almost half the amount compared to this year.
The audience number was greatly boosted by the return of Britain’s very own, 3-time Grand Slam and 2-time Wimbledon Champion, Andy Murray. He made a return to Grand Slam tennis after a major gap of 4 years. According to the stats released by Nielson Sports, Murray’s extraordinary five-set win against Oscar Otte in the second round attracted an average audience of 4.36 million on BBC One. During the game, BBC One collected a total of approx. 28% share of the national audience, which piqued to 45% in the fifth and final set. Audiences of 6.75 million were recorded watching the decider set on the channel.
The authorities did well by placing Andy Murray’s matches in the primetime evening centre court slot, which automatically attracted more viewers. Not only Andy Murray but also the success of other British stars Dan Evans, Cam Norrie and Katie Boulter has contributed to the growth in figures. Presently, the tournament has reached its second and crucial week. Some exciting clashes in the QFs and Semis are expected as Tennis’ very best in Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, amongst others look to win the ultimate prize.
This year’s tournament is being operated at a capacity of 50%, which is expected to be around 7,000 spectators. The showpiece men’s and women’s finals on 10th and 11th July respectively, are expected to be played at 100% capacity. The centre court will be buzzing with 15,000 fans to support the two worthy finalists.