ESPN’s Most-Watched Barclays Premier League Season on TV and Digital Platforms


ESPN’s Most-Watched Barclays Premier League Season on TV and Digital Platforms

ESPN3 and WatchESPN Up 36 Percent in Monthly Average of Unique Viewers

ESPN enjoyed its most-viewed Barclays Premier League season in 2011-12, highlighted by three telecasts that rank among the top-five most-watched matches on its U.S. networks.  Sunday’s title-clinching match, the thrilling 3-2 victory by Manchester City over Queens Park Rangers, was seen on ESPN2 by 600,000 viewers, making it the third most-watched Premier League match on ESPN networks.  An additional 189,000 Hispanic viewers watched the match on ESPN Deportes.

In all, an average audience of 321,000 viewers watched each Premiership match on the networks in 2011-12, a seven percent increase compared to 301,000 viewers in 2010-11.  The average by television homes: 269,000 household impressions in 2011-12, an increase of nine percent versus 246,000 impressions in 2010-11.

On ESPN Deportes, an average of 58,000 Hispanic viewers watched Premier League matches in the 2011-12 season, reflecting a four percent increase compared to 56,000 Hispanic viewers in 2010-11. The season average by Hispanic television homes: 46,500 Hispanic household impressions in 2011-12, six percent gain (44,000 impressions in 2010-11).

“What a truly amazing conclusion to the world’s most popular league,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president, programming and Global X.  “The Barclays Premier League continues to flourish on ESPN services as we continue to provide fans with live access to key matches across all platforms.”

ESPN’s live presentation of the thrilling Manchester derby – Manchester City’s 1-0 win over rival Manchester United on April 30 – was the most viewed match of the season with 1.033 million viewers, also a Premier League U.S. cable television record.

The top-five matches by viewers on ESPN’s English-language networks:

Date Matchup Viewers – P2+ Network
Mon, April 30, 2012 Manchester City vs. Manchester United 1,033,000 ESPN
Mon., Dec. 27, 2010 Chelsea vs. Arsenal 610,000 ESPN2
Sun, May 13, 2012 Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers 600,000 ESPN2
Sat, Feb. 11, 2012 Liverpool vs. Manchester United 588,000 ESPN2
Mon., Dec. 13, 2010 Arsenal vs. Manchester United 570,000 ESPN2

ESPN3 and WatchESPN:

Sunday’s Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers match logged nearly 108,000 unique viewers and 4.76 million minutes across ESPN3 and WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox (source: Adobe/Omniture).  In the 2011-2012 season, these platforms generated a monthly average of nearly 174,000 unique viewers and 8.9 million live minutes for Premier League matches on computers – up 36 percent and 73 percent, respectively compared to the previous season.  Additionally, EPL matches this season logged 9.2 million monthly average minutes across computers, smartphones and tablets, up 78 percent compared to ESPN3 on computers last year.

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Mac Nwulu

I joined ESPN in 1998 and since then, it's been a great experience managing PR and communications for a range of ESPN initiatives and properties over the years. I am currently focused on soccer and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
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