Wimbledon men's final draws best ratings since 2000
The women's championship between sisters Venus and Serena Williams earned the highest national rating in three years.
The coverage of the men's final Sunday drew a 3.5 rating, 10 share and viewership of 5.2 million from 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. EDT. The Wimbledon record 4-hour, 48-minute match -- that also had three rain delays -- ended in twilight as Nadal won his first Wimbledon title.
"It's an event that's synonymous with breakfast in the U.S., but was finishing closer to American dinner time," Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics, said Friday.
The rating topped the men's final of eight years ago that featured Pete Sampras and Patrick Rafter (4.4/14).
The rating increased 30 percent over last year's Federer-Nadal five-set match (2.7/8), while viewership rose by more than 1½ million.
Venus Williams won in straight sets in two hours, a match that garnered a 2.5 rating, 8 share and 3.7 million viewers. That topped the mark of the Venus Williams-Lindsay Davenport match in 2005 (3.4/11).
The rating is the percentage of those watching a program among homes with televisions, and the share is the percentage tuned into the broadcast among those households with TVs on at the time.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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