ESPN Announces Initial Findings from Project Blueprint, the First Five-Platform Measurement Initiative

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ESPN Announces Initial Findings from Project Blueprint, the First Five-Platform Measurement Initiative

Early Data Validate New Approach to Multiplatform Measurement

Today at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement 8.0 Conference, ESPN presented preliminary findings from Project Blueprint, the first five-platform measurement initiative, which was launched in collaboration with Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR). The study was designed to measure changing consumption of video, audio and display content across radio, television, PCs, smartphones and tablets.  The successful release of the first month of data shows that Project Blueprint’s hybrid approach can provide a multiplatform measurement solution with the scale and granularity necessary to meet the needs of the media and advertising industry.

“These initial results have been impressive and insightful, indicating strong, verifiable evidence that Blueprint can be the measurement solution we hoped it could be,” said Artie Bulgrin, senior vice president of Research and Analytics. “It will fill significant knowledge gaps about cross-platform usage with a level of precision that we have lacked until now.”

Some key findings from the study include:

  • ESPN’s total reach for the first month of data (February 2013) across TV and digital content, was 136 million adults and 85 million men.  This represents 57% of US adults, and 72% of US men.
  • In the average week, ESPN’s digital properties provide a reach lift of 18% for adults, and 23% for men, over the reach of the TV networks alone.
  • Over a week, 33% of ESPN’s users and 38% of male users used ESPN Digital Media either in combination with TV or exclusively.
  • Men who are multiplatform consumers of ESPN content spend twice as much time with the brand as single-platform consumers.
  • The more digital platforms a sports fan uses, the more time they spend with ESPN digital content – and they also spend more time watching ESPN on TV.
  • The tablet user is ESPN’s best customer, spending over 19 hours per month with all types of content, over three times greater than the average user.

“The data on patterns of cross-media usage that we get from Project Blueprint will help us to serve sports fans better, and will help advertisers better understand shifts in media consumption,” said Glenn Enoch, vice president of Integrated Media Research.  “We look forward to getting even more insight as comScore and Arbitron produce a fully integrated model this summer.”

ESPN engaged Arbitron and comScore in Project Blueprint to test whether its hybrid methodology could provide a basis for a service offering to all media companies, advertisers and agencies to measure and understand the audience size, composition and impact of media content and marketing efforts as listened to and viewed across several platforms. Project Blueprint was announced in September, 2012.


The study measures audiences for video, display and audio content across five different platforms: TV, radio, PC, smartphones and tablets. Findings are generated from integration of resources from both companies:

  • In‐home TV data from 4.5M Digital Set Top Box homes (comScore).
  • Radio listening, Out of Home TV usage and TV Demo data from the Arbitron Portable People MeterTM (PPM®).
  • Census data on PC, Smartphone and Tablet usage from comScore MediaMetrix Multiplatform®.
  • Arbitron created a calibration panel to use in Project Blueprint.  This is a subset of their PPM® panel that measures all five platforms by combining the TV-Radio data collected by the PPM with digital usage from a software meter application.

About ESPN

ESPN, Inc., is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of eight U.S. 24-hour television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN 3D and Longhorn Network) and five HD simulcast services (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (35 networks, syndication, radio, digital), ESPN Radio (broadcast, satellite, digital, a growing category led by ScoreCenter), (plus a variety of sport-, college-, and market-specific sites), ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises and espnW.  Multi-screen offerings include WatchESPN (access to several ESPN networks online and via an app), ESPN3 (live multi-screen network available online, on the go and via Xbox LIVE) and ESPN Mobile (mobile Web, mobile TV and video, apps, alerts and messaging).  Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.


Media Contacts:

Amy Phillips                  646-547-5614                             [email protected]

Ana Livia Coelho           646-547-5778                         [email protected]


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Ana Livia Coelho

Ana Livia Coelho is a Senior Publicist in New York, overseeing FiveThirtyEight as well as ESPN’s Consumer Marketing, Ad Sales, Affiliate Sales, Consumer Products and Research groups. She is a native Brazilian and a graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
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