NOTE TO READERS: This article is from last year’s U.S. Open. Info about the 2009 U.S. Open can be found here.
If Serena Williams’ two-hour-plus victory in the women’s final of the U.S. Open tournament wasn’t enough tennis for you, stick around your computer. Weather delays pushed back the men’s final of the U.S. Open until today, and CBSSports.com and USOpen.org will both offer free live-streams of Roger Federer taking on Andy Murray at 5 p.m. PST.
In olden times (with only oldteevee) a delay like this meant tennis fans would just have to do without (or record to a crappy VHS tape). But newteevee and online video are proving to be perfect for unexpected scenarios like these. Earlier this year, when Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate met in an 18-hole playoff, the web tuned in in droves, driving more than 4 million video streams.
Wimbledon, the last grand slam tennis event, attracted 1 million live and 4 million on-demand video streams over the course of the two week tournament. Those numbers aren’t directly comparable as watching Wimbledon cost users $24.99. The fact that this U.S. Open is a one-shot deal (and it’s free) should goose the online ratings a bit. If it does well, it’s one more notch in the belt for online sports after March Madness, Major League Baseball, and even the hobbled Olympics all performed well in 2008.
Image courtesy of USOpen.org.