In its sixth year of televising clay-court competition Roland-Garros, the Tennis Channel has seen record ratings during its first week of French Open coverage.
From 27 May 27 to 2 June, the network's live match coverage averaged a 0.61 rating according to Nielsen Media Research, or 319,738 homes, up 17% from 2011's 0.52 average.
The daily premiere of prime-time news, interview and analysis show French Open Tonight also established new highs, exceeding 2011's performance by 51% every day, and is averaging a 0.52 rating vs. last year's 0.35 for the first seven days, equal to 272,563 homes.
Equally significant was the ratings on first-round Sera Williams’ match on Tuesday, May 29, which attracted more than one million viewers at its height. The match's 1.02 rating achieved first place among all cable networks in Tennis Channel's household coverage area and averaged 533,170 homes during the time period, with peaks at a 1.60 rating.
In all, Tennis Channel is televising close to 60 hours of live matches during this year's French Open and more than 140 match hours overall, with 36 first-run hours of French Open Tonight and 114 total, via encores. In addition to more than 250 hours of total television coverage, the network is dedicating more than 300 hours to live online
Dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, the network has expanded its reach to 55 million homes through free previews, making it more accessible than at most times of the year, when it is limited to 34 million homes.