ESPN SEES BOFFO RATINGS WITH ADDITION OF FULL NFL SEASON
The addition of NFL Sunday Night Football has helped
ESPN's primetime ratings jump 56%, from a 1.8 to a 2.8 for
the first two weeks of September. For the same period,
ESPN's NFL telecasts, along with its sports news shows, have
boosted the net's 24-hour rating 50%, from a 0.8 to a 1.2.
The 11:00pm ET edition of "SportsCenter" has earned a 64%
rating increase (1.1 to 1.8), and the Sunday 11:00pm show is
up 107% (1.5 to 3.1). ESPN's Sunday NFL highlights/recap
show, "NFL PrimeTime," is up 27% (3.3 to 4.2). The net's
college football ratings are up 20% (ESPN). "SportsCenter"
averaged 1,341,000 viewers for the first two weeks of the
month, up from 819,000 a year ago (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/17).
RELAUNCH A HIT: ESPN.com registered a record 11.4
million page views on Sunday. The site recorded 94.3
million hits -- a 486% increase over the second NFL Sunday
of the '97 season, when it drew 16.1 million (ESPN.com).
SWEET DEAL: Sugar Ray Leonard has signed a multi-year
agreement with ESPN Classic to provide analysis of his own
and other "classic" bouts, many from the "Big Fights
Library." Leonard will make his debut November 12 (ESPN).