TV Ratings: Joey Chestnut and Andy Murray Give Holiday Boost to ESPN
Near-record returns for Wimbledon and a strong showing for Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest light up the network's long weekend.
ESPN scored a few ratings successes during the long holiday weekend, starting with Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on an otherwise sleepy July 4.
The competitive eating fest, which saw another win for Joey Chestnut, marked its first year airing on ESPN2 with 1.15 million viewers at noon ET -- when not too many were tuning into the tube. In the targeted adults 18-49 demographic, the broadcast topped all of cable for the hour with a 0.6 rating.
Among households, Nathan's was down year-to-year. With an average 0.7 HH U.S. rating, it was off just a tenth of a point from 2012, when it aired on ESPN.
Wimbledon, unsurprisingly, proved an even bigger draw. The tennis tournament saw its audience swell for Andy Murray's historic win on Sunday. And though it was down by nearly 1.5 million viewers from the year before -- when Roger Federer beat Murray for the title -- it brought in the network's second-highest ratings of all time for a tennis match. The men's championship match averaged 1.9 million homes and 2.5 million viewers.
ESPN hit an all-time tennis high with last summer's Wimbledon men's final. Federer's four-set victory, which wrapped up later in the afternoon, pulled in 2.9 million households and 3.9 million viewers.