SBD/October 4, 2011/Research and Ratings

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  • ESPN Total-Day, Primetime Audience Down In Q3; Pats-Jets "MNF" Tops Cable TV Telecasts

    ESPN averaged 950,000 total-day viewers and 1.925 million viewers in primetime during Q3, down 10.8% and 11.9%, respectively, from the same period last year. The net still finished ninth among all cable networks in total-day audience and fifth in primetime during the quarter. ESPN2 also saw a double-digit percentage drop in total-day and primetime audience in Q3. Among sports networks, MLB Network saw the biggest year-over-year percentage gain, up 42.3% in total-day and 31.3% in primetime. NFL Network also saw double-digit percentage gains in Q3. NBA TV's audience is traditionally lower during Q3 due to the league being in its offseason. ESPN’s Patriots-Dolphins opening “MNF” telecast was the most-viewed cable TV broadcast of Q3 with 14.568 million viewers. The net’s Japan-U.S. FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on July 17 ranked third with 13.458 million viewers. The Sept. 9 Notre Dame-Michigan game on ESPN was the top college football audience in Q3 with 7.541 million viewers. The July 31 Brickyard 400 on ESPN was the only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series telecast to rank among the top 100 most-viewed cable TV shows during Q3 (6.377 million viewers). Listed below are the top 10 cable TV nets in total-day and primetime viewership during Q3, with comparisons to ’10, along with how sports networks performed during that same period.

    Q3 TOTAL-DAY VIEWERSHIP
    NETWORK
    '11 (000)
    '10 (000)
    % +/-
    Nickelodeon
    2,166
    2,281
    -5.0%
    Disney Channel
    1,884
    1,967
    -4.2%
    USA
    1,424
    1,362
    4.6%
    Adult Swim
    1,368
    1,182
    15.7%
    Nick at Nite
    1,233
    1,573
    -21.6%
    Cartoon Network
    1,204
    1,152
    4.5%
    TNT
    1,180
    1,349
    -12.5%
    Fox News
    1,081
    1,022
    5.8%
    ESPN
    950
    1,065
    -10.8%
    History Channel
    916
    868
    5.5%
    FX
    786
    688
    14.2%
    ESPN2
    315
    351
    -10.3%
    NFL Network
    160
    133
    20.3%
    Speed
    120
    121
    -0.8%
    Golf Channel
    86
    75
    14.7%
    Versus
    84
    86
    -2.3%
    MLB Network
    74
    52
    42.3%
    ESPNews
    66
    68
    -2.9%
    Fox Soccer
    26
    22
    18.2%
    NBA TV
    17
    n/a
    n/a
    Fuel TV
    11
    n/a
    n/a
     
    Q3 PRIMETIME VIEWERSHIP
    NETWORK
    '11 (000)
    '10 (000)
    % +/-
    USA
    3,510
    3,278
    7.1%
    Disney Channel
    2,683
    2,823
    -5.0%
    TNT
    2,512
    2,570
    -2.3%
    History Channel
    2,070
    1,741
    18.9%
    ESPN
    1,925
    2,186
    -11.9%
    Fox News
    1,910
    1,843
    3.6%
    A&E
    1,640
    1,515
    8.3%
    FX
    1,453
    1,275
    14.0%
    SyFy
    1,449
    1,297
    11.7%
    ABC Family
    1,425
    1,373
    3.8%
    ESPN2
    578
    672
    -14.0%
    NFL Network
    276
    222
    24.3%
    Speed
    197
    199
    -1.0%
    MLB Network
    189
    144
    31.3%
    Versus
    175
    164
    6.7%
    Golf Channel
    126
    116
    8.6%
    ESPNews
    103
    95
    8.4%
    Fox Soccer
    37
    34
    8.8%
    NBA TV
    33
    n/a
    %
    Fuel TV
    14
    n/a
    %
           

    NOTES: Period of measurement for Q3 in ’11 was from June 27 through Sept. 25. Last year, the period was measured from June 28 through Sept. 26. Primetime audience is defined as 8:00-11:00pm.

    Print | Tags: Research and Ratings, Nielsen Media Research
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