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ESPN Continues to Lead Cable in Delivering Key Young Males for Advertisers


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Network has Led in Third Quarter since 2006, Has Led Every Quarter for 17 Straight


In the third quarter of 2017 (June 26 – September 24, per Nielsen), ESPN led all full-time cable networks in total day and in prime-time delivery of the three key young male demographic groups, males age 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

ESPN has a long history leading cable networks in the July-September time period:  ESPN has been the No. 1 full-time cable network in the third quarter among those three important groups in both Total Day and Prime Time for 12 consecutive years (3Q06-3Q17).

Looking at each quarter of the year, ESPN has now been the No. 1 full-time cable network among M18-34, M18-49, and M25-54 for 17 consecutive quarters (3Q 2013 – 3Q 2017).

ESPN’s historic strengths in the third quarter – particularly among the young male demographic groups that advertisers covet – include MLB’s Home Run Derby, the Little League World Series, tennis’ US Open and the start of football – both college and Monday Night Football – in September.  New standouts in 2017 were the NBA Summer League and top-level boxing matches.

College Football

  • Through the first five weeks of the season, ESPN/ABC have combined to air the top five (and seven of the top eight) most-watched CFB games this season across all networks. Additionally, ESPN and ESPN2 have combined to televise 19 of the 20 most-viewed games on cable.


  • Through week 3 (four games), ESPN’s Monday Night Football was up 10% in total impressions (P2+) vs. 2016.
  • For the first three weeks of the season, MNF has helped ESPN win the night across all networks (both broadcast and cable) among HHs, viewers and all key male & adult demos.

US Open

  • Roger Federer’s return and strong performances from the American women helped the 2017 US Open’s Total Live Audience increase 8% to 968,000 across ESPN/ESPN2 vs. 2016.
  • The all-American US Open Women’s Final averaged a Total Live Audience of 1.9 million, making it the most-viewed Women’s Final in ESPN history.

 Summer League

  • Boosted by interest in the LA Lakers and Lonzo Ball, the 2017 NBA Summer was the most-watched Summer League ever across TV and Streaming.
  • Across ESPN, ESPN2, and linear streaming, the 2017 Summer League averaged a Total Live Audience of 454K, up +54% vs. 2016.


  • In the third quarter, ESPN had cable television’s three most-watched cable telecasts of the year, with Pacquiao-Horn, the Pacquiao-Horn undercards, and Crawford-Indongo.
  • The July 1 Pacquiao-Horn telecast averaged a 1.6 HH rating and 2,812,000 viewers, marking the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast on cable television since 2006 and ESPN’s highest-rated boxing telecast since 1995.

Home Run Derby:

  • The 2017 Home Run Derby was the most watched since 2009, and the Total Live Audiience was up 55% from last year.

Little League World Series:

  • The 2017 Little League World Series averaged a Total Live Audience of 783,000 across ESPN/ESPN2/ABC, up 12% year-over-year.