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.