Singapore – The Championships, Wimbledon, or more commonly known as “Wimbledon”, is tennis’ grandest ‘Grand Slam’ tournament, which was held over two weeks in July this year, and while it’s not surprising that it captured the imagination of tennis fans across Asia, this year’s edition surpassed all expectations. The tournament, which was broadcast exclusively on the FOX Sports network, was the highest-rated tennis grand slam of 2015, with a viewership of 14.2 million, which represents a year-on-year increase of 29% from 2014’s 11 million viewers.
This followed the trend set for FOX Sports’ broadcast of Roland Garros, which increased its reach by 12% to 14 million viewers, compared to the 2014 broadcast of the tournament. The high interest in the tournament was also reflected on social media, with the FOX Sports Asia Facebook page registering an increase in its daily reach by 87%.
“We’re pleased that fans in Asia have enjoyed FOX Sports’ coverage of Wimbledon this year, and the positive results from the tournament, as well as for Roland Garros, will only spur the team on to continue improving the presentation of all major sports properties and Original Productions”, said Joon Lee, Managing Director, FOX International Channels, Hong Kong and South-East Asia”.
The ratings success of Wimbledon is due, in part, to the extensive cross-promotion of the tournament on FOX International Channels’ (FIC) entertainment, factual and movies suite of channels, to reach new audiences, as well as on the FOX Sports network. In addition, social media was used to amplify the campaign to drive preference and increase engagement, coupled with an aggressive programming strategy.
FOX Sports also brought out the big guns with their production of the Wimbledon broadcast this year. Not only did they continue with their tradition of presenting the tournament from their on-site studio at Wimbledon, they also had a line-up featuring two former Wimbledon champions – Marion Bartoli and Richard Krajicek – as well as regular pundits, Anne Keothavong and Danai Udomchoke, all of whom enthralled tennis lovers with their insights and analyses.
The FOX Sports studio was also visited by past and present players, like Richard Gasquet, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Nick Kyrgios, Lucie Safarova + Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Pat Cash and Boris Becker. FOX Sports reporter, Nikki Muller, also conducted one-on-one interviews with 2015 Wimbledon Singles’ Champions, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, as well as with Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Stanislas Wawrinka, Martina Hingis and Stefan Edberg.
Holding everything together was FOX Sports presenter, Jason de la Peña, whom viewers would’ve seen presenting the Australian Open and Roland Garros on FOX Sports.
To further connect with fans and to encourage them to interact with our studio guest, Marion Bartoli, an #AskMarion hashtag was heavily promoted to garner even higher engagements and allow Bartoli to share more of her invaluable thoughts and opinions with tennis fans.
In total, more than 200 hours of LIVE tennis was produced, which was broadcast over FOX Sports, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports Play, giving fans more tennis action and the choice of catching each day’s play on TV, tablets, mobile phones or on their computers.
Tennis on FOX Sports will take a short break, before returning in January 2016 with the Australian Open, and the focus will now shift to the start of the football season, on August 15th, with special attention being paid to the Bundesliga, which is yet another new acquisition by FOX Sports, to further bolster their position as the true ‘Home of Sports’, and be the preferred sports network.