[12/10/13 - 01:36 PM]
Hundreds of Millions of Fans Tune to Record-Setting Coverage across ESPN Networks
ESPN spins the numbers for its college football coverage to date.

[via press release from ESPN]

Hundreds of Millions of Fans Tune to Record-Setting Coverage across ESPN Networks

· ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNU Game Viewership Increases over 2012; Impressive Audiences for ABC

· Double Digit Saturday Night Wins for ABC & ESPN

· Expanded College GameDay Shows Audience Growth

· Birmingham Leads All Markets for 13th Straight Year with Highest-Rated Season Ever

· ESPN Digital platforms post significant audience growth

ESPN's industry-leading game and studio coverage of the 2013 college football season reached hundreds of millions of fans and garnered audience increases across multiple television and digital platforms.

For the season, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 covered 310 regular-season Football Bowl Subdivision games exclusively - 217 more than every other national network combined (CBS, FOX, FS1, NBC, NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network) - involving teams from all 10 conferences, plus independents Notre Dame, BYU, Navy and Army.

Overall, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS combined to reach more than 189,000,000 viewers for game telecasts. The television network's extensive game schedule averaged 1,865,000 viewers for 254 regular-season games. ESPN offered games every day of the week, including opening Sunday of the season, Labor Day, select Tuesday and Wednesday matchups, and a regular schedule of Thursday, Friday and Saturday telecasts.

Season Increases across Cable Networks

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU - which each televised more games in 2013 than 2012 - posted audience increases over last season.

· ESPN averaged 2,644,000 viewers, an increase of 3 percent over last season (vs. 2,564,000)

· ESPN2 averaged 1,108,000 viewers, an 8 percent increase (vs. 1,024,000)

· ESPNU averaged 400,000 viewers, an increase of 4 percent (385,000)

In addition to growth across ESPN cable platforms, ABC averaged a strong 4,777,000 viewers for an extensive schedule of games. The 2013 season average is down slightly from a 2012 campaign that included the network's second most-viewed regular-season game since 1991 (16,059,000 viewers for Notre Dame defeating USC 22-13 on November 24). ABC would be up 3 percent over 2012 without the record-setting telecast.

Winning Saturday Nights

Saturday night college football telecasts helped ABC and ESPN to finish first or second across all cable and broadcast networks on 13 (of 15) Saturdays among viewers and 14 Saturdays among all key demographics (Men and Persons 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54). Combined, ABC and ESPN were the two networks among viewers on three Saturday nights during the season.

In addition, ABC or ESPN was the number one or two network among key male and adult demographics every Saturday night except November 9.

ABC's Saturday Night Football Presented by Windows 8, the first weekly prime-time college football game on broadcast television, averaged 5,750,000 viewers and a 3.5 HH US rating, and was the most-watched program of the night in viewers on six of its 12 broadcasts this season.

Expanded College GameDay Draws More Viewers

ESPN's new three-hour College GameDay Built by The Home Depot averaged 1,830,000 viewers, demonstrating a 10 percent increase over the same 9 a.m. to noon ET time period on ESPN in 2012.

Birmingham Leads All Markets for 13th Straight Year with Highest-Rated Season Ever

The top four most-viewed metered markets for ESPN's game telecasts in 2013 were the same as in 2012 with Birmingham securing its first place finish for a 13th consecutive season. The Alabama city averaged a 9.2 rating, the highest ever for the market. Greenville was second with a 4.9 rating followed by Knoxville (4.4) and New Orleans (4.3).

· Nine of this season's top 10 metered markets also finished the 2012 season among the top 10.

· Louisville jumped from 20 in 2012 to the ninth top market in 2013.

· Oklahoma City (eighth in 2012) and Austin (10th) both fell out of the top 10.

Top 25 Markets for 2013 Top 25 Markets for 2012
No. 1 Birmingham: 9.2 rating No. 1 Birmingham: 8.9 rating
No. 2 Greenville: 4.9 rating No. 2 Greenville: 4.7 rating
No. 3 Knoxville: 4.4 rating No. 3 Knoxville: 4.6 rating
No. 4 New Orleans: 4.3 rating No. 4 New Orleans: 3.7 rating
No. 5 Nashville: 3.3 rating No. 5 Jacksonville: 3.6 rating
Memphis: 3.3 rating Columbus: 3.6 rating
Columbus: 3.3 rating No. 7 Atlanta: 3.5 rating
Jacksonville: 3.3 rating No. 8 Oklahoma City: 3.4 rating
No. 9 Louisville: 3.2 rating No. 9 Nashville: 3.3 rating
Atlanta: 3.2 rating No. 10 Memphis: 3.1 rating
No. 11 Charlotte: 2.9 rating Austin: 3.1 rating
No. 12 Oklahoma City: 2.8 rating No. 12 Tulsa: 2.5 rating
No. 13 Orlando: 2.7 rating Charlotte: 2.5 rating
No. 14 Tulsa: 2.6 rating Las Vegas: 2.5 rating
Tampa-St. Petersburg: 2.6 rating No. 15 Portland: 2.3 rating
No. 16 Austin: 2.5 rating Richmond: 2.3 rating
West Palm Beach: 2.5 rating No. 17 Orlando: 2.2 rating
No. 18 Kansas City: 2.4 rating Dayton: 2.2 rating
Norfolk: 2.4 rating Norfolk: 2.2 rating
No. 20 Dayton: 2.3 rating No. 20 Louisville: 2.1 rating
No. 21 Greensboro: 2.2 rating Tampa-St. Petersburg: 2.1 rating
No. 22 Raleigh-Durham: 2.2 rating No. 22 West Palm Beach: 2.0 rating
Richmond: 2.2 rating Greensboro: 2.0 rating
No. 24 Ft. Myers: 2.1 rating Cleveland: 2.0 rating
No. 25 Dallas-Ft. Worth: 2.0 rating Ft. Myers: 2.0 rating

ESPN Digital platforms post significant audience growth

ESPN Digital Media's college football content across all platforms - ESPN.com, the ESPN Mobile Web college football section, ESPN's ScoreCenter app, WatchESPN/ESPN3 and the ESPN College Football app - garnered significant audiences over the season. Highlights:

· WatchESPN/ESPN3's averaged 705,556,000 total live minutes viewed for an increase of 44 percent over 2012. The average live game on the platforms experienced 32,000 live unique viewers (a 20 percent increase), 1,200,000 live minutes viewed (31 percent growth) and 33 minutes per viewer (6 percent increase). In an average Saturday, ESPN.com had 3,700,000 video starts.

· Overall for the season, ESPN.com saw 204,300,000 video starts for a 29 percent increase.

· On the average Saturday, ESPN's Scorecenter/SportsCenter app posted 6,400,000 unique views (up 6 percent) and an average minute audience of 101,000 (up 61 percent). The college football app saw more than 1,100,100 unique views (up 18%).

  [december 2013]  


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