In a similar matchup to last year’s action for the women, World No.1-ranked Serena Williams defeated No.2 Angelique Kerber in the Ladies’ Championship, tying Steffi Graf’s Open Era record of 22 grand slam titles. The telecast – which also includes the Williams sisters winning the Ladies’ Doubles Championship – earned a 1.1 U.S. rating, representing an average of 1,604,000 viewers (P2+) according to Nielsen, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed Ladies’ Championship telecast since 2012, when ESPN began airing the match.
Through six months of 2016, ESPN tops the entire television industry – broadcast and cable – for total day live audience among men 18-34. The network averaged 144,000 viewers in that key demographic.
Through five months of 2016, ESPN is No. 1 on cable in numerous key demo groups – including those for males and for all viewers – in both total day and prime-time ratings, and tops the entire television industry – broadcast and cable – for total day ratings among men 18-34.
ESPN Deportes was the highest-rated, most-watched cable network – English or Spanish – among Total Hispanics and Hispanics P18-49 on match day
The UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday, May 28, in which Real Madrid beat city rivals Atletico Madrid 5-3 in a dramatic match that went to penalties, is the most-watched event on ESPN Deportes ever, according to Nielsen. The match reached an average of 1.3 million Hispanic viewers P+2, delivering a 5.0 Hispanic household rating – surpassing the UEFA Euro 2012 final (Spain vs. Italy) that reached 1.1 million Hispanic viewers P+2 and a tie rating of 5.0 Hispanic household.
- ESPN Deportes channel on WatchESPN scored its highest event ever to date with the Madrid Derby. The match delivered 7.6 million total minutes viewed with 138,000 live unique viewers.
- ESPN Deportes was the highest-rated, most-watched cable network – English or Spanish – among total Hispanics, and Hispanics 18-49 on match day, Saturday, May 28. The day averaged a 1.0 Hispanic household rating and 242,000 Hispanic viewers P+2, surpassing May 27, 2009, which was at the top, by 11% in household rating, and 47% in viewership.
The extensive game-around-the-game coverage also showed ratings growth:
- Fuera de Juego’s post-game show scored its highest-rated, most-watched telecast thus far this year with an average 1.0 Hispanic household rating and 239,000 Hispanic viewers P+2, surpassing the post-show around Copa del Rey Final on May 22, 2016, which tapped an average 0.9 Hispanic household rating and 226,000 Hispanic household viewers P+2.
- The SportsCenter pre-match weekend edition reached an average 0.5 Hispanic household rating 86,000 Hispanic viewers P+2, becoming the second highest-rated SportsCenter edition thus far this year on the network, behind the special post-Super Bowl 50 show on February 7 that delivered a 0.8 Hispanic household rating.
- The record-breaking audience for the final follows a successful 2015-2016 season of UEFA Champions League on ESPN Deportes. In total, the network’s coverage of the league delivered a 1.0 Hispanic household rating, up 11% year-over-year – reaching an average of 222,000 Hispanic viewers P+2 – a 28% growth year-over-year.
ESPN Deportes’ Summer of Champions continues in June with the kickoff of the UEFA Euro 2016. Beginning June 10, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio will carry more than 200 hours of live coverage of UEFA EURO 2016 combined, including all 51 matches live on the English-language networks and on ESPN Deportes, the most comprehensive presentation to date of the European Football Championship in the United States.
ESPN’s Saturday tip-off of the 2016 WNBA season delivered the best audience for a WNBA regular-season game on the ESPN networks (excluding ABC) since 2001, with an average of 505,000 viewers. The 7:30 p.m. ET telecast between the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury posted a 0.3 household rating.
The Lynx defeated the Mercury at home, 95-76, led by a double-double from Maya Moore, who scored 27 points and had 10 assists. ESPN’s coverage of the historic 20th season of the WNBA will continue Tuesday, May 24, as the Chicago Sky host the Los Angeles Sparks at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Full Schedule
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ESPN’s Saturday tip-off of the 2016 WNBA season was the highest-rated, regular-season WNBA game on the ESPN networks (excluding ABC) since 2011, and the highest-rated, regular-season weekend WNBA game on the ESPN networks (excluding ABC) since 2005. The 7:30 p.m. ET telecast between the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury delivered a 0.4 overnight rating.
The top 5 markets were Minneapolis-St. Paul (1.6), Memphis (1.4), New Orleans (1.1), Albuquerque-Santa Fe (0.9) and Dayton, Ohio (0.8).
The Lynx defeated the Mercury at home, 95-76, led by a double-double from Maya Moore, who scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds. ESPN’s coverage of the historic 20th season of the WNBA will continue Tuesday, May 24, as the Chicago Sky host the Los Angeles Sparks at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Full Schedule
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Also #1 among Viewers 18-34, 18-49
For the first quarter of 2016, ESPN led all cable networks in prime time among all the key male demo groups – 18+, 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. In addition, the network was tops among viewers 18-34 and 18-49.
Among all viewers, ESPN placed second – behind only Fox News, a strong performance given the ongoing extensive coverage of the Presidential primaries. ESPN was also second among viewers 18+.
Continuing a trend of ESPN’s performance growing over time versus its cable competition, just two years ago ESPN was in fourth among viewers.
In the quarter, ESPN aired cable’s two most-watched telecasts (the College Football Playoff National Championship in which Alabama defeated Clemson) and the Cotton Bowl (the semifinal in which Alabama beat Michigan State). ESPN also aired the fourth and fifth most-watched telecasts (#3 was the March 3 Republican Debate on Fox News).
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- Audiencia en hogares aumenta 51% por encima de la transmisión en español de 2015
- La transmisión más vista de la cadena aparte del fútbol
ESPN Deportes, la casa del Super Bowl en español por primera vez, alcanzó un incremento de 51% en la audiencia en hogares en comparación con la presentación en español del año pasado. También fue la audiencia no relacionada al fútbol más alta de ESPN Deportes en sus 14 años de historia, con los Broncos de Denver venciendo a las Panteras de Carolina 24-10 en el Super Bowl 50. La cadena logró un promedio de 268.000 impresiones en hogares hispanos y 472.000 televidentes (P2+), basados en un rating de 1,8 de acuerdo a Nielsen. La audiencia en hogares fue 51 por ciento mayor a la presentación en español del año pasado.
Adicionalmente, el Super Bowl 50 en ESPN Deportes fue el evento no relacionado al fútbol más visto en la historia de la televisión paga en español, sólo detrás del Super Bowl 2014.
La nueva marca para ESPN Deportes, excluyendo al fútbol, es 33 por ciento mayor que su máxima anterior: El evento de Premier Boxing Champions del 29 de agosto del año pasado, con un promedio de 355.000 televidentes.
En WatchESPN, el Super Bowl 50 se posicionó como el quinto evento más visto de la historia en ESPN Deportes, sumando un promedio de 5.600 impresiones de minutos adicionales a la audiencia de TV, 29.000 usuarios únicos y un total de 1.5 millones de minutos vistos. Éste es el evento no relacionado al fútbol de ESPN Deportes más visto en WatchESPN, ubicándose apenas detrás de cuatro juegos de la UEFA Champions League.
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- Four of the Six Bowl Games See Ratings Increases from Last Year’s Same Bowl and Similar Time Slot
- WatchESPN Experiences Significant Audience Growth Across Metrics
ESPN’s second presentation of the New Year’s Six (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl, The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual and the Allstate Sugar Bowl) averaged a 7.1 overnight rating, with four of the six games experiencing ratings increases (bowl to bowl and time slot to time slot) from last season’s inaugural year. On WatchESPN, the New Year’s Six experienced significant increases across the board, in all metrics, continuing a trend experienced all college football season. Digitally, the New Year’s Six averaged 200,170 average minute impressions, 776,000 unique viewers and 43,871,000 total minutes for the six games, up 69%, 54% and 67% in each category, respectively. The 7.1 overnight rating average for the New Year’s Six – in which average margin victory across the six games was 24 points — is down 13% from last season’s 8.2. The four bowls which were not designated as a semifinal this season (Peach, Fiesta, Rose, and Sugar) averaged a 5.8 overnight, up 26% from the four bowls last season which were not semifinals (Peach, Fiesta, Orange and Cotton).
“The College Football Playoff is a long-term, multiplatform play for us,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president of programming and scheduling. “With that said, there are many variables that impact ratings results including what happens on the field and the numbers this year were obviously impacted by the unbalanced scores of these games. Still, four of the New Year’s Six bowls posted double-digit ratings increases and we saw near historic successes for streaming the games on WatchESPN across the two days. College football is strong, vibrant and growing and we look forward to the National Championship game on January 11.”
Additional New Year’s Six Highlights:
- Four of the New Year’s Six bowl games saw ratings increases from their same bowl last year (i.e. Cotton Bowl vs. Cotton Bowl), including the Fiesta Bowl featuring No. 8 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Ohio State (New Year’s Day at 1 p.m. ET), which earned a 6.2 overnight, up 35% from the Fiesta Bowl last season. As previously documented, the Orange Bowl was up 102%, Cotton Bowl up 87%, and Peach Bowl up 21%. The Rose Bowl Game featuring No 6 Stanford vs. No. 5 Iowa earned a 7.9 overnight, while the Sugar Bowl featuring No. 16 Oklahoma State and No. 12 Ole Miss had a 5.3.
- Four of the New Year’s Six also saw ratings increases from their corresponding time slots last year, including the Fiesta Bowl which was up 17% from the 2015 New Year’s Day early afternoon game (Cotton Bowl). As previously documented, the Orange Bowl was up 111% from the 2014 New Year’s Eve late afternoon game (Fiesta Bowl) and the Cotton Bowl was up 106% from the 2014 New Year’s Eve prime time game (Orange Bowl). The Peach Bowl was played in the exact same time slot both years (early afternoon New Year’s Eve), so the ratings increase of 21% mentioned above remains consistent.
- Birmingham was the highest-rated market across the New Year’s Six, with a 23.6 average rating for the six games. Rounding out the top 10 markets were Columbus (17.3), Tulsa (14.1), Oklahoma City (14.0), Greenville (13.8), Dayton (12.7), Cleveland (12.3), Knoxville and Nashville (12.2), and New Orleans (12.1).
- Columbus was the highest-rated overnight for the Fiesta Bowl with a 34.9 rating, the market’s third-best overnight for a non-Championship college football bowl game on ESPN. Cleveland was second with a 25.0 overnight, the market’s second best overnight in the same category.
- On WatchESPN, the 2015 Fiesta Bowl was the most-streamed Fiesta Bowl ever, setting new record highs in all major metrics: 159,000 average minute impressions, 693,000 total unique viewers and 35,822,000 total minutes.
Again Leads Cable in Total Day for Key Male Demos
ESPN’s Total Day Average Audience is 25% Larger than all non-ESPN Sports Networks Combined
In 2015, ESPN repeated as the top cable network in prime time among households and viewers (P2+), an accomplishment first achieved in 2014.
ESPN also repeated previous yearly bests as cable’s best among all key men/adult demos. On a Total Day basis, ESPN ranked first among full-time cable nets with M18+, M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, plus P18-49, and P25-54.
In 2015, ESPN aired 18 of cable’s top 27 most-viewed shows in terms of household impressions (12 of the top 27 in P2+).
With an average total-day audience of 900,963 viewers, ESPN outdrew all non-ESPN sports networks by 25 percent (719,425).
All-Time Cable History
In cable history, with the three College Football Playoff games from last January atop the list, ESPN has televised 49 of the 54 most-viewed telecasts (excluding breaking news) of all time in terms of household impressions (45 of the top 55 in terms of P2+). All 49 are college football or Monday Night Football; three of the other five are presidential debates this year.
In September across TV, PC, Smartphone, Tablet, and Radio, ESPN media reached 203 million Persons 18+ (82.4% of U.S.) and 134 million P18+ in the average week, and 55 million P18+ in the average day. (Source: September 2015 comScore Project Blueprint)