WTA Sees Audiences Grow by 25% as Global Interest in Women's Tennis Reaches All-Time High

ST PETERSBURG, FL, Dec. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) today announced key metrics from a 2015 audience report by SMG Insight, that show excitement around the competitive 2015 WTA season boosted overall viewership by 25% year-on-year, with 395 million cumulative viewers in 2015 versus 316 million in 2014; an all-time high. For the second consecutive year the WTA registered a substantial increase in audience; viewership rose by 23% in 2014.

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WTA coverage is being seen by more TV viewers, with the number of households reached by WTA programming hitting 954.4 million in 2015, a 38% increase on 2014. The greater number of ways fans can consume WTA content, meanwhile, is adding viewers who consume sport online, or who supplement TV coverage with extra content online.

Digital viewership was up 44% year-on-year, with 44.6 million viewers watching women's tennis through online channels, compared to 31 million in 2014.

The most-viewed tournaments of the 2015 season were held in Asia, with tournaments in the US and Canada completing the top five:

  1. China Open, Beijing (34.64 million)
  2. BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore (32.49 million)
  3. Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, Toronto (29.70 million)
  4. Miami Open presented by Itau (29.37 million)
  5. BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells (26.81 million)

In 2015, the number of unique users and visits to the official WTA wtatennis.com website were up 14% year-on-year and 15% year-on-year, respectively. The number of fans following official WTA and player social media pages was up 16% year-on-year and reached 120 million cumulatively, while video views across official WTA website and social pages hit 48 million.

The WTA remains hugely competitive on the court and is therefore a strong and attractive sporting spectacle for both tennis fans and sports fans more generally. The 21 Premier Tournaments and WTA Finals in Singapore were won by 12 different women in 2015, the same number as in 2014. There is a captivating new generation of players: six of the players in the current WTA top 20 are aged 25 or under, and of the 12 women who won tournaments in 2015, four are aged 25 or under.

From 2017, WTA Media will produce over 2,000 singles matches a year and increase news content by 40%. By increasing the amount of content available to fans, the WTA can expect the strong rise in media engagement reported in 2015 to continue to rise in the future.

Steve Simon, WTA CEO, commented, "The continued rise in audiences shows the WTA strategy to grow the product and reach more fans is working, and the number of stars coming up through the sport will continue to excite interest. The depth of the playing field in our sport is unprecedented right now, and the competition is outstanding. We have the platform to continue growth in the future."

SOURCE Women''s Tennis Association (WTA)

For further information: Media Contact: Heather Bowler, hbowler@wtatennis.com, +447885966355

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