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  • ESPN Primetime Viewership Rebounds In Q3, While FS1 Up Over Speed Last September

    ESPN rebounded in Q3 after seeing primetime viewership drop 32% in Q2. The net averaged 2.03 million viewers in primetime during Q3, up 10% from last year during the same period and putting the net's Q3 figure over the 2 million mark for the first time since '10. ESPN is seeing a 21% increase for its Saturday night college football games to date, and also saw gains in Q3 for Little League World Series and MLB coverage. Networks that do not carry the Olympics also often see a bounce in Q3 audience the following year. ESPN also saw a 5% total-day (24-hour) audience gain in Q3. Meanwhile, ESPN2 saw its fourth straight year-over-year decline for Q3 primetime audience. NFL Network, which is in the second year of early season "Thursday Night Football" telecasts, saw primetime viewership jump 16% in Q3. The channel's primetime viewership in September alone rose 8% as NFL Net remains on pace for a second straight year of record-setting game audiences. FS1, which officially took over Speed on Aug. 17, averaged 238,000 viewers in primetime during Q3. That figure is up 40% from Speed's Q3 audience last year and the best since Speed averaged 256,000 in Q3 '09. During September alone, FS1 saw a 59% primetime gain. Golf Channel averaged 113,000 viewers on a total-day basis, marking a Q3 record for the net. Golf Channel was aided by a record audience for coverage around PGA Championship week, as well as the net's second-best viewership on record for the FedExCup Playoffs. However, primetime viewership for the net was down 3%. MLB Network also had its best quarter ever in Q3, aided by a record-setting regular-season audience. NBCSN saw the sharpest drop among cable sports nets in Q3. The network had the benefit of programming from the London Games last year in Q3. But even compared to '11 or '10, the net saw steep decline.

    Q3 PRIMETIME VIEWERSHIP
    NETWORK
    '13 (000)
    '12 (000)
    '11 (000)
    '10 (000)
    '09 (000)
    ESPN
    2032
    1843
    1,928
    2,182
    2,324
    NFL Network
    568
    489
    278
    222
    176
    ESPN2
    484
    516
    580
    671
    696
    FS1*
    238
    170
    199
    198
    256
    MLB Network
    205
    164
    189
    n/a
    n/a
    Golf Channel
    138
    142
    127
    116
    148
    ESPNews
    115
    110
    103
    95
    93
    NBCSN
    106
    162
    176
    164
    235
    NBA TV
    58
    55
    33
    n/a
    n/a
    FS2*
    31
    42
    14
    n/a
    n/a
    Q3 TOTAL-DAY VIEWERSHIP
    NETWORK
    '13 (000)
    '12 (000)
    '11 (000)
    '10 (000)
    '09 (000)
    ESPN
    963
    921
    950
    1,065
    993
    ESPN2
    279
    284
    316
    350
    353
    NFL Network
    224
    190
    161
    133
    109
    Golf Channel
    113
    103
    86
    75
    96
    FS1*
    113
    104
    121
    121
    141
    MLB Network
    92
    71
    74
    n/a
    n/a
    NBCSN
    77
    172
    84
    85
    119
    ESPNews
    71
    69
    66
    68
    70
    NBA TV
    35
    37
    17
    n/a
    n/a
    FS2*
    21
    24
    11
    n/a
    n/a
    NOTES: Figures not available for nets that do not subscribe to regular ratings, including Pac-12 Networks, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, Fox College Sports, Longhorn Network, NHL Network, Tennis Channel, ESPN Deportes, beIN Sport, GolTV, Fox Deportes, Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Network, ESPN Classic and Universal Sports. * = Speed became FS1 on Aug. 17, and on the same date, Fuel TV became FS2.

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