ESPN Press Releases 2007 - Broadcasting & Cable

ESPN Press Releases 2007

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2007
BEST THIRD QUARTER EVER FOR ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNEWS _ESPN CLASSIC SETS RECORD RATING WITH LIVE GAME

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS each posted their best third quarter ever, averaging more households than any previous July - September.  For ESPNEWS and ESPN2, the quarter which ended Sunday was the most-watched ever for any quarter.  Also, each month within the quarter set a mark for that month's highest average 24-hour audience.

ESPN averaged 745,000 homes, its most ever for third quarter and up 5% from 2006 (711,000).  The network was boosted by Major League Baseball (HHs up 20% in 2007),  the addition of four NASCAR Nextel Cup races and SPORTSCENTER, which increased its audience for third quarter 5% (average of 536,000 homes for all shows, up from 512,000).  In the key demo group men 18-34, the show drew 18% more viewers than third quarter 2006.  The network also registered its best September ever, averaging 990,000 homes on a total-day basis, up 10% from September 2006 (901,000).

ESPN2 averaged 299,000 homes, its best for any quarter in its 14-year history and up 17% from third quarter of 2006.  Its performance reflects the addition of the NASCAR Busch Series, plus continuing growth of the weekday morning lineup - ESPN Radio's MIKE & MIKE IN THE MORNING (6 - 10am ET) and FIRSTTAKE (10am - noon).  That six-hour block averaged 172,000 homes, up 34% from the same quarter a year ago.  In prime time, September proved to be ESPN2's most-viewed month ever, an average of 728,000 homes, up 22% from 2006 and breaking the mark set in November 2005.

For ESPNEWS, the third quarter delivered a series of records.  It was the network's most-watched quarter ever, an average of 69,000 households, beating the mark set in second quarter this year.  This represents an increase of 34% from third quarter last year.  In prime time, the increase was 44%, rising from 64,000 to 92,000.  In September, ESPNEWS averaged more than 100,000 homes for a month in prime time for the first time - 110,000.  Not only did each month deliver the biggest audience for that month for ESPNEWS, but August set the mark as the network's best month ever, only to see the record broken in September, averaging 83,000 households.

ESPN Classic registered its highest rating ever in the quarter, a 0.8 for the live telecast of Kentucky's 40-34 upset of Louisville September 15.  Its 24-hour average for the quarter and for each month were all second only to the strong performance in 2006.

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FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2007
ESPN to Debut First Primetime Newsmagazine Show Tuesday, October 16 at 7pm ET

ESPN will debut the primetime news magazine show ESPN REPORTS (working title) beginning Tuesday, October 16 at 7pm ET.  The premiere will be followed by three additional one-hour episodes airing on consecutive Tuesdays, and will return for five weeks in April 2008 and six weeks in June 2008.  The series will provide 15 original episodes a year.

Each show will offer a combination of investigative features, profiles of intriguing sports personalities, and cutting edge stories on innovations in the sports world including emerging sports and new technology.  In addition, ESPN REPORTS will differentiate itself by offering a unique, behind-the-scenes portrait of its reporters by turning the camera on the reporters as they work on their stories.  Each segment will meld the stories with a glimpse of the reporters' experiences - pitching the original idea, creating storylines with producers and interviewing their subjects.  Reporter out-takes and diaries will also be incorporated.

The ESPN program will be the first television magazine show to be produced and broadcast in high definition television.  It will complement ESPN's award-winning Outside the Lines franchise - enhancing the network's overall commitment to long-form journalism.

"The pages of ESPN The Magazine will come to life on ESPN REPORTS through the vibrant lens of the top technical cameras and access-driven stories that will be told by award-winning reporters and producers," said Robert Wallace, ESPN's vice president of content development.  "The series will be hard-hitting, current and compelling.  It will broaden the current boundaries of the television news magazine genre."

A team of award-winning ESPN journalists - Jeremy Schaap, Lisa Salters, Tom Farrey, Rachel Nichols and Michael Smith - will report in each show, with additional guest reporters appearing periodically.

Content from the program will be distributed across several ESPN platforms - ESPN.com, ESPN360.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN International, ESPN Mobile Publishing, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN podcasts.

ESPN REPORTS will be produced by a team of seasoned and award-winning television documentary producers.  The production team is led by Wallace, an Emmy Award-winning producer, formerly with ABC News and a 30-year veteran of print and television journalism.  Longtime ESPN feature producer Andy Tennant, who has earned several Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards, will serve as the executive producer.  Emmy Award-winning producer Robert Abbott, who oversaw ESPN25, the network's 25th anniversary programming, will be the coordinating producer, and former HBO director of documentary programming Julie Anderson, an accomplished television documentary producer who has earned several Emmy and Peabody Awards, will serve as senior producer.

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