ITF announces excellent ratings for Davis Cup

MUMBAI: The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that the recent Davis Cup for men by BNP Paribas and Federation Cup for women finals reached over 175 countries in all five continents through television.

Since sport is about national pride it shouldn't come as a surprise that Spaniards tuned in large numbers to watch Spain defeat the US in the Davis Cup Final The event took place in Seville from 3-5 December. In India the tournament aired on Doordarshan.

The host broadcaster TVE dedicated over 45 hours with different programmes to cover the event. While over three million viewers followed the first two singles matches on the second channel La 2, the Bryan Brothers' victory the following day in the doubles match was followed by more than three million viewers with market shares of 26.7 per cent on the first channel La Primera.

The deciding fourth rubber on Sunday between Carlos Moyá and Andy Roddick saw 3.1 million viewers flocking to La Primera. The channel thus notched up a 43.8 per cent market share. This is a significant increase from the 36.9 per cent share registered in the fourth match of the Davis Cup final four years ago when Spain won the event for the first time.

The ITF has added that in the always-competitive US market ESPN registered good figures despite the time difference and its delayed coverage of the Final. Among the 25 international broadcasters UK's BskyB and Russian's NTV Plus dedicated over 20 hours each while Australia, the 2003 champion, could watch over 30 hours thanks to Fox Sports.

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