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  • ESPN Distribution Down Slightly From Start Of '11; NBA TV Starts Season In 55.3M Homes

    ESPN is in 99 million U.S. homes in December, down slightly from the start of the year, when the net was in 99.8 million homes. ESPN had a six-month run from February-July when it was in more than 100 million homes, but it did not reach that mark again. The net's low point for the year was 98.6 million homes in October. ESPN2 will finish the year in 98.9 million homes, down from 99.7 million in January. The net also had three months during '11 where distribution was over the 100-million mark. The Weather Channel is the only cable net ending '11 in more than 100 million homes. MLB Network saw the most distribution growth among any cable net this year, while Fox Soccer also saw strong gains. As the NBA season gets set to begin later this month, NBA TV is in 55.3 million homes, up 2.4% from the same period last year. Meanwhile, Fuel TV passed ESPN Classic for the first time since the net became rated in April. Listed below are the top 10 cable networks in terms of U.S. household distribution, along with figures for sports nets.

     

    CABLE NETWORK DISTRIBUTION IN THE U.S. FOR DECEMBER
    NETWORK
    '06 (000)
    '07 (000)
    '08 (000)
    '09 (000)
    '10 (000)
    '11 (000)
    The Weather Channel
    91,791
    96,463
    98,691
    99,787
    100,588
    100,024
    TBS
    91,528
    97,201
    98,905
    100,146
    101,002
    99,928
    Discovery Channel
    92,358
    96,696
    98,594
    99,837
    100,517
    99,654
    Food Network
    90,891
    95,547
    97,817
    99,243
    100,193
    99,592
    Nick-At-Nite
    91,799
    96,331
    98,343
    99,590
    100,353
    99,502
    Nickelodeon
    91,799
    96,331
    98,343
    99,590
    100,353
    99,502
    USA
    91,930
    96,227
    98,268
    99,174
    100,016
    99,361
    CNN
    92,046
    96,403
    98,279
    99,299
    100,108
    99,179
    TNT
    91,969
    96,272
    98,018
    99,143
    100,445
    99,131
    A&E
    91,553
    96,070
    97,834
    98,919
    99,802
    99,108
    ESPN
    92,216
    96,385
    98,006
    99,065
    99,844
    99,032
    ESPN2
    91,646
    96,043
    97,585
    98,770
    99,723
    98,938
    FX
    89,995
    94,428
    95,141
    95,845
    95,854
    98,039
    Golf Channel
    73,915
    75,776
    81,566
    81,786
    83,189
    84,013
    Speed
    69,062
    72,447
    73,107
    74,667
    77,236
    78,675
    Versus
    71,041
    73,223
    74,128
    63,379
    75,187
    75,740
    ESPNews
    53,515
    62,614
    67,750
    70,818
    73,449
    73,880
    ESPNU
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    72,508
    72,427
    MLB Network
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    55,274
    67,346
    NFL Network
    38,875
    43,094
    41,736
    54,722
    56,875
    57,586
    NBA TV
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    54,021
    55,293
    Fox Soccer
    n/a
    n/a
    34,527
    35,532
    38,419
    40,557
    Fuel TV
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    36,414
    ESPN Classic
    63,463
    63,166
    63,259
    60,580
    39,727
    32,455
     

    NOTES: Distribution not listed for nets that do not subscribe to daily Nielsen Co. ratings. Among those nets not listed are NHL Network, Universal Sports, CBS Sports Network, Tennis Channel, Fox College Sports and the Big Ten Network.

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