SBJ/Nov. 11-17, 2013/In Depth

Nielsen-rated sports networks

ESPN
Launch date: September 1979
Homes: 97 million (#20 cable network)
License fee: $5.47 per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 2.9 million (#2 cable network)

Top shows in October

1. “Monday Night Football” (Sept. 30) Dolphins-Saints 13.8 million viewers
2. “Monday Night Football” (Oct. 21) Vikings-Giants 13.2 million viewers
3. “Monday Night Football” (Oct. 14) Colts-Chargers 12.0 million viewers
4. “Monday Night Football” (Oct. 7) Jets-Falcons 11.5 million viewers
5. College football (Oct. 12) Texas A&M-Mississippi 5.1 million viewers



ESPN2
Launch date: October 1993
Homes: 97 million (#19 cable network)
License fee: 73 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 633,000 (#32 cable network)

Top shows in October

1. College football (Oct. 26) South Carolina-Missouri 3.1 million viewers
2. College football (Oct. 19) LSU-Mississippi 2.6 million viewers
3. College football (Oct. 12) Alabama-Kentucky 2.6 million viewers
4. College football (Oct. 5) Arkansas-Florida 1.6 million viewers
5. College football (Oct. 5) Michigan State-Iowa 1.5 million viewers



ESPNews
Launch date: November 1996
Homes: 75 million (#58 cable network)
License fee: 20 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 90,000 (#91 cable network)

Top shows in October

1. College football (Oct. 12) Texas A&M-Mississippi start 550,000 viewers
2. “SportsCenter” 12 a.m. (Oct. 26) 331,000 viewers
3. “SportsCenter” 7:40 p.m. (Oct. 14) 273,000 viewers
4. College football (Oct. 5) Washington-Stanford start 241,000 viewers
5. “SportsCenter” 11 p.m. (Oct. 26) 209,000 viewers



ESPNU
Launch date: March 2005
Homes: 75 million (#57 cable network)
License fee: 20 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 116,000 (#80 cable network)

Top shows in October

1. College football (Oct. 5) Mississippi-Auburn 943,000 viewers
2. College football (Oct. 26) Wake Forest-Miami 885,000 viewers
3. College football (Oct. 5) Georgia Tech-Miami 857,000 viewers
4. College football (Oct. 5) Illinois-Nebraska 781,000 viewers
5. College football (Oct. 26) Duke-Virginia Tech 525,000 viewers



Fox Sports 1
Launch date: December 1995 (as Speedvision); August 2013 as FS1
Homes: 89 million (#38 cable network)
License fee: 23 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 234,000 (#53 cable network)

Top shows in October

1. College football (Oct. 12) Oregon-Washington 1.8 million viewers
2. College football (Oct. 19) Washington State-Oregon 1.1 million viewers
3. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (Oct. 19) Fred’s 250 powered by Coca-Cola 1.0 million viewers
4. College football (Oct. 19) Texas Tech-West Virginia 770,000 viewers
5. “The Ultimate Fighter” (Oct. 9) 725,000 viewers



Fox Sports 2
Launch date: July 2003 (as Fuel TV); August 2013 as FS2
Homes: 36 million (#101 cable network)
License fee: 15 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 18,000 (#101 cable network)

Top shows in October
1. “UFC Fight Night” (Oct. 26) 122,000 viewers
2. Monster Energy Cup (Oct. 19) 116,000 viewers
3. College football (Oct. 26) TCU-Texas 108,000 viewers
4. “NASCAR Raceday” (Oct. 20) 107,000 viewers
5. Champions League Group Stage (Oct. 23) 100,000 viewers



NBC Sports Network
Launch date: July 1995 (as Outdoor Life Network); January 2012 as NBC Sports Network
Homes: 78 million homes (#50 cable network)
License fee: 33 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 203,000 (#57 cable network)

Top shows in October
1. NHL (Oct. 1) Capitals-Blackhawks 935,000 viewers
2. “NHL Live Pregame” (Oct. 1) 715,000 viewers
3. NHL (Oct. 2) Sabres-Red Wings 583,000 viewers
4. Premier League (Oct. 27) Chelsea-Manchester City 583,000 viewers
5. NHL (Oct. 9) Blackhawks-Blues 523,000 viewers



Golf Channel
Launch date: January 1995
Homes: 82 million (#45 cable network)
License fee: 29 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 99,000 (#90 cable network)

Top shows in October

1. Presidents Cup (Oct. 4) 778,000 viewers
2. Presidents Cup (Oct. 3) 740,000 viewers
3. Presidents Cup (Oct. 6) 497,000 viewers
4. “Live From” (Oct. 4) 318,000 viewers
5. Presidents Cup (Oct. 5) 296,000 viewers



TBS
Launch date: December 1976
Homes: 99 million (#3 cable network)
License fee: 62 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 3.2 million (#1 cable network)

Top shows in October
1. MLB Division Series (Oct. 9) Pirates-Cardinals Game 5, 6.1 million viewers
2. MLB NLCS (Oct. 18) Cardinals-Dodgers Game 6, 6.1 million viewers
3. MLB NLCS (Oct. 15) Cardinals-Dodgers Game 4 , 5.8 million viewers
4. MLB NLCS (Oct. 11) Dodgers-Cardinals Game 1, 5.8 million viewers
5. MLB Division Series (Oct. 10) Tigers-A’s Game 5, 5.5 million viewers



TNT
Launch date: October 1988
Homes: 98 million (#13 cable network)
License fee: $1.27 per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 1.1 million (#12 cable network)

Top shows in October
1. “Red” (Oct. 12) 2.1 million viewers
2. “Castle” (Sept. 30) 2.0 million viewers
3. “Castle” (Oct. 2) 1.9 million viewers
4. “Law & Order” (Oct. 19) 1.9 million viewers
5. “Castle” (Oct. 1) 1.9 million viewers



NFL Network
Launch date: November 2003
Homes: 72 million (#63 cable network)
License fee: $1.13 per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 973,000 (#20 cable network)

Top shows in October
1. “Thursday Night Football” (Oct. 10) Giants-Bears 7.9 million viewers
2. “Thursday Night Football” (Oct. 3) Bills-Browns 6.9 million viewers
3. “Thursday Night Football” (Oct. 17) Seahawks-Cardinals 6.0 million viewers
4. “Thursday Night Football” (Oct. 24) Panthers-Buccaneers 4.6 million viewers
5. “NFL Total Access” (Oct. 10) 2.973 million viewers



MLB Network
Launch date: January 2009
Homes: 70 million (#67 cable network)
License fee: 27 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 40,000 (#99 cable network)

Top shows in October

1. Division Series game (Oct. 7) A’s-Tigers Game 3, 912,000 viewers
2. Division Series game (Oct. 4) Pirates-Cardinals Game 2, 832,000 viewers
3. “MLB Tonight” (Oct. 26), 235,000 viewers
4. Postgame (Oct. 4) 217,000 viewers
5. “MLB Tonight” (Oct. 26) 208,000 viewers



NBA TV
Launch date: March 1999
Homes: 59 million (#81 cable network)
License fee: 19 cents per subscriber per month
October prime-time average viewership: 102,000 (#83 cable network)

Top shows in October
1. NBA preseason (Oct. 5) Bulls-Pacers 304,000 viewers
2. NBA preseason (Oct. 18) Pacers-Bulls 271,000 viewers
3. NBA preseason (Oct. 25) Kings-Clippers 271,000 viewers
4. NBA preseason (Oct. 19) Spurs-Heat 231,000 viewers
5. NBA preseason (Oct. 5) Warriors-Lakers 225,000 viewers

Notes: October time period runs from Sept. 30 to October 27. CBS Sports Network is not Nielsen rated.
Sources: Nielsen (distribution numbers), SNL Kagan (license fee information), SportsBusiness Journal/Daily research (ratings)
Compiled by: John Ourand

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