September was a month of breaking records for ESPN Podcasts as the combined podcast network of ESPN / ABC / FiveThirtyEight / National Geographic posted a new high audience of 9.3 million unique listeners.
That represents an increase of 10% vs. August and 24% over September a year ago (ABC was not part of the total in 2019).
The network also hit a new high when it jumped three spots to No. 4 on the Podcast Industry Rankings Report. Of note, ESPN grew its audience while the top 10 producers averaged a 3% loss for the month.
Key podcast titles driving growth with an all-time record month in September:
• NBA titles (The Lowe Post, Hoop Collective and The Woj Pod) up 140% versus a year ago
• The Right Time with Bomani Jones up 134% versus a year ago
• DC & Helwani up 94% versus a year ago
• Fantasy Focus Football up 79% versus a year ago
• The Dan Lebatard Show and LeBatard and Friends Network up 61% versus a year ago
• Baseball Tonight up 58% versus a year ago
According to The Podtrac Podcast Category Audience Rankings, in September ESPN was home to 13 of the top 30 podcasts for unique audience, including seven of the top 15 and two of the top three (Fantasy Focus Football at No. 2 and The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz at No. 3).
In terms of total downloads, ESPN set a record with 50.1 million (up 45% from 2019) while the combined network of ESPN / ABC / FiveThirtyEight / National Geographic totaled more than ever with 67.3 (up 55% vs. 2019).
In addition, ESPN Daily, which celebrates its first anniversary October 21, has seen its audience nearly double since launch.
New ESPN Investigates Debuts October 20
ESPN will debut “The Running Man,” the latest podcast in its ESPN Investigates feed for investigative reporting on October 20. “The Running Man” is the story of an obscure former Olympian from Antigua and alleged serial sexual predator Conrad Avondale Mainwaring – and the 14-month ESPN investigation that brought him out the shadows.
It’s the tale of more than 50 men who say that over the course of the past 40-plus years they were physically abused and mentally manipulated by their coach. And it’s the story of how they banded together, decades later, to find justice.