SBD/April 10, 2013/Research and Ratings

MLB Net, Fuel TV See Spike In Q1 Viewership; ESPN, ESPN2, Speed See Declines

MLB Network was a big winner with the World Baseball Classic, with the network seeing a 146% year-over-year jump in Q1 primetime viewership. The net also saw viewership jump 100% on a 24-hour basis. Fuel TV also saw strong Q1 gains with the help of UFC programming. Q1 was Fuel TV's most-watched quarter ever, while February and March, respectively, were the top two months ever for the net. Despite being without NHL programming during the first three weeks of January, NBC Sports Network saw a 1% jump in primetime viewership in Q1. That period last year included the regular-season games and the All-Star Game. Removing those three weeks in January, NBC Sports Net saw viewership rise 14%. ESPN and ESPN2 each continued a trend of lower Q1 viewership. ESPN was down 8% in primetime and 9% for total-day viewership, while ESPN2 was down 2% and 8%, respectively. Speed, which is set to be rebranded as Fox Sports 1 in August, saw some of the sharpest drops in primetime (-17%) and total-day audience (-13%). ESPNews, NBA TV and NFL Network also saw declines. Among sports nets with significant live-event programming in the daytime, Golf Channel and Fox Soccer both saw Q1 gains in total-day audience.

Q1 CABLE SPORTS NET PRIMETIME VIEWERSHIP
NETWORK
'13 (000)
'12 (000)
1-YR % +/-
'11 (000)
2-YR % +/-
ESPN
2,163
2,361
-8%
2,439
-11%
ESPN2
435
442
-2%
497
-13%
Speed
223
268
-17%
269
-17%
NBC Sports Net
194
193
1%
230
-16%
Golf Channel
174
172
1%
158
10%
NBA TV
168
189
-11%
139
21%
NFL Network
133
162
-18%
112
19%
MLB Network
128
52
146%
51
151%
ESPNews
107
119
-10%
91
18%
Fuel TV
49
40
23%
n/a
n/a
Fox Soccer
41
38
8%
45
-9%
Q1 CABLE SPORTS NET TOTAL-DAY VIEWERSHIP
NETWORK
'13 (000)
'12 (000)
% +/-
'11 (000)
2-YR % +/-
ESPN
939
1,036
-9%
1,080
-13%
ESPN2
274
298
-8%
315
-13%
Speed
140
161
-13%
159
-12%
Golf Channel
130
119
9%
101
29%
NFL Network
103
109
-6%
85
21%
NBA TV
72
80
-10%
58
24%
NBC Sports Net
66
64
3%
82
-20%
ESPNews
65
71
-8%
58
12%
MLB Network
60
30
100%
29
107%
Fox Soccer
40
31
29%
33
21%
Fuel TV
27
19
42%
n/a
n/a
 

NOTES: Figures not available for cable nets that do not subscribe to regular Nielsen ratings, including ESPNU, ESPN Classic, NHL Network, Universal Sports, Tennis Channel, Fox College Sports, Big Ten Network, Longhorn Network and CBS Sports Network. Measured period for Q1 this year was Dec. 31, 2012 through March 31, 2013. Last year, measured period was December 26, 2011 through March 25, 2012.
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