In May, ESPN’s studio shows — stretching from morning through afternoon to late night – posted strong increases in audience (P2+), according to ratings from Nielsen.
The increases were led by the 11 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter (+29%) and morning’s Get Up! (+22%).
Also, for many of the dayparts ESPN led cable – if not all of television – in delivering the key young male demos. In fact, ESPN led cable in total day delivery of men 18-34 and 18-49.
“Nothing draws the viewer to the screen like sports, and that includes the smart, lively studio shows we offer throughout each day,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production and executive editor. “Led by our signature sports news franchise, SportsCenter, the best in highlights, opinion and discussion stand out versus the competition.”
ESPN Key Increases
For the third straight month the 7 a.m. SportsCenter was up, growing +18% in May vs. the comparable 7-8 a.m. daypart last year (333K vs. 282K). The show also saw a gain of +16% in May among P18-49 (179K vs. 154K).
In May, Get Up! was also up for its third consecutive month, increasing +22% vs. the comparable 8-10 a.m. daypart in the month last year (341K vs. 279K). This follows a +30% increase in April.
First Take saw an increase for the second straight month, growing +5% year over year in May (442K vs. 421K).
The noon SportsCenter gained +4% in May vs. 2018 (338K vs. 326K) in the ratings, and Outside the Lines that follows at 1 p.m. posted an increase of +3% (276K vs. 267K).
The 5-6 p.m. hour also grew in May. Around the Horn saw gains of +3% (486K vs. 470K), and Pardon the Interruption – which recently won its third Sports Emmy Award as TV’s best daily sports studio show – increased for its second straight month at +9% (740K vs. 676K).
The 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter – hosted by Kevin Negandhi and Sage Steele for one year as of May 14 – was up +5% (510K vs. 486K). The show has increased its audience in 11 of the 13 months since the duo teamed together.
Late night editions of SportsCenter had a strong month in May. The 11 p.m. edition was up +29% for the month (626K vs. 486K) and the 1 a.m. show was up +15% (568K vs. 493K). Both shows also showed an increase among viewers 18-49 – the 11 p.m. was up +24% (321K vs. 258K) and the 1 a.m. was up +10% (317K vs. 289K).
The Saturday and Sunday morning SportsCenter shows also showed ratings gains. Combined, the shows from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. increased +4% (545K vs. 522K) vs. last year.