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ESPN SEES BOFFO RATINGS WITH ADDITION OF FULL NFL SEASON
Published September 17, 1998
The addition of NFL Sunday Night Football has helped ESPN's primetime ratings jump 56%, from a 1.8 to a 2.8 for the first two weeks of September. For the same period, ESPN's NFL telecasts, along with its sports news shows, have boosted the net's 24-hour rating 50%, from a 0.8 to a 1.2. The 11:00pm ET edition of "SportsCenter" has earned a 64% rating increase (1.1 to 1.8), and the Sunday 11:00pm show is up 107% (1.5 to 3.1). ESPN's Sunday NFL highlights/recap show, "NFL PrimeTime," is up 27% (3.3 to 4.2). The net's college football ratings are up 20% (ESPN). "SportsCenter" averaged 1,341,000 viewers for the first two weeks of the month, up from 819,000 a year ago (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/17). RELAUNCH A HIT: ESPN.com registered a record 11.4 million page views on Sunday. The site recorded 94.3 million hits -- a 486% increase over the second NFL Sunday of the '97 season, when it drew 16.1 million (ESPN.com). SWEET DEAL: Sugar Ray Leonard has signed a multi-year agreement with ESPN Classic to provide analysis of his own and other "classic" bouts, many from the "Big Fights Library." Leonard will make his debut November 12 (ESPN).