SBD/Issue 74/The Back of the Book

Versus, Speed See Double-Digit Viewership Growth In '08

For '08, Versus saw the biggest viewership gains among cable sports nets for both total day programming and primetime, up 20.2% and 23.6%, respectively, from a year ago. Speed also saw double-digit growth in '08, as the net had a successful season of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series telecasts. Among the ESPN-branded nets, only ESPN saw gains in '08, up in both total day and primetime. ESPN2 was only slightly off from its '07 marks, but ESPN Classic saw a significant drop, down around 30% in both total-day and primetime viewership. Golf Channel had a mixed bag in '08, seeing gains for their total programming day, but off 4.4% in primetime. NFL Network was down in '08 as well, with a double-digit percentage drop in its primetime viewership. The charts below reflect '08 viewership among cable sports nets for total-day programming and primetime (THE DAILY).

'08 TOTAL-DAY VIEWERSHIP
NET
AVERAGE VIEWERS
(000)
'07
(000)
% +/-
Versus
107
89
20.2%
Speed
150
129
16.3%
ESPN
937
869
7.8%
Golf Channel
77
76
1.3%
ESPN2
325
330
-1.5%
NFL Network
80
82
-2.4%
ESPNews
66
70
-5.7%
ESPN Classic
43
60
-28.3%
'08 PRIMETIME VIEWERSHIP
NET
AVERAGE VIEWERS
(000)
'07
(000)
% +/-
Versus
278
225
23.6%
Speed
273
240
13.8%
ESPN
2122
1952
8.7%
ESPN2
641
657
-2.4%
ESPNews
86
89
-3.4%
Golf Channel
131
137
-4.4%
NFL Network
175
196
-10.7%
ESPN Classic
74
107
-30.8%

NOTES: Total-day programming is measured as 6:00am-6:00am Monday through Sunday. Primetime programming is measured as 8:00-11:00pm. Figures for '08 were measured from December 31, 2007 through December 28, 2008. Figures for '07 were measured from January 1, 2007 through December 30, 2007.

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