SBD/October 10, 2013/Research and Ratings

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

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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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