SBD/17/Sports Media

ESPN SEES BOFFO RATINGS WITH ADDITION OF FULL NFL SEASON

          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).

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ESPN, NFL, Media, Walt Disney

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