The unusual confluence of all major professional sports in August heated up ESPN Podcasts listenership, as ESPN posted its best month ever and grew 29% over August 2019.
In addition, the combined podcast network of ESPN / ABC / FiveThirtyEight / National Geographic posted an increase of 44% year-over-year.
In particular and reflective of increased attention to the coming presidential election, FiveThirtyEight enjoyed one of its best months ever and grew 178% from a year ago.
“It is clear that when current events are on the mind of listeners – be it sports or politics – fans turn to our network of podcasts for the best in analysis, storytelling and discussion,” said Tom Ricks, ESPN Audio’s vice president, digital marketing and strategy.
“As baseball heads towards the playoffs, the NFL starts up and the election comes closer, we are focused on delivering our best for fans in a time like no other.”
According to The Podtrac Podcast Category Audience Rankings, in August ESPN was home to 13 of the top 30 podcasts, including five of the top 10.
Of note, The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz – which in August added two hours of podcast-exclusive content each weekday – ranked second with a unique audience of 1.282 million. That represents an increase of 33% over July.
Also, the return of the NBA boosted The Lowe Post (seventh on the list) to a monthly increase of 231%, more than triple its audience in August 2019.