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Britain’s Channel 4 nets 9.2 million viewers for Raducanu’s historic title

British teenager Emma Raducanu’s staggering U.S. Open final victory had a nation glued to their screens on Saturday night with Channel 4 saying the audience for their broadcast peaked at 9.2 million viewers.

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Such was the hype around Raducanu’s fairytale run to the final in New York against Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez that Channel 4 did a last-minute deal to share UK rights holder Amazon Prime’s feed of the match and make it free to air.

It proved to be a wise move for Channel 4 as Raducanu won a thrilling match 6-4 6-3 to become the first British women for 44 years to win a Grand Slam title.

Channel 4 said the peak audience of 9.2 million was higher than the BBC peak for this year’s eagerly-awaited Wimbledon championships. Coverage of the match itself averaged 7.4 million – seven times the average for the Saturday evening time slot.

“We’re delighted that Channel 4, in partnership with Amazon Prime Video, could enable more than 9 million people to enjoy one of the most thrilling and historic nights of British sport in a generation,” said Channel 4’s Chief Content Officer Ian Katz said.

Raducanu became the first player, man or woman, to win a Grand Slam title having had to go through the qualifying tournament and did so without dropping a set.

National broadcaster the BBC scrapped plans to show the highlights of the final once Channel 4 reached the deal to show the match live.

The British government, which owns Channel 4, has announced plans to privatise the broadcaster – a move opposed by some senior figures in the UK television industry. The Star

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