ESPN Digital Media Sets New Sports Category Record, Reaches 82 Million Fans in August

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ESPN Digital Media Sets New Sports Category Record, Reaches 82 Million Fans in August

82 million total unique visitors tops previous category high set in June; 61 million unique users on mobile; 400 million video views for fourth consecutive month; larger digital audience than several cable TV sports networks

Click to view infographic.
Click to view infographic.

Coverage of the NFL pre-season, the start of College Football, the FIBA World Cup, and MLB’s pennant race propelled ESPN to a record-setting August in the digital sports category, according to comScore’s multi-platform report. ESPN reached 82.4 million unique users across computers, smartphones and tablets, the largest total for a single month in category history and an increase of 42 percent from a year ago.

On mobile devices alone, 61.3 million unique users accessed ESPN content, setting a category record for mobile reach, fueled by 42.2 million people visiting ESPN.com via smartphones and tablets.

Fans spent 5.5 billion minutes using ESPN digital properties, a category record for the month of August and up 8 percent from a year ago. Overall, ESPN accounted for 25.4 percent of all sports category usage on digital platforms, more than the Nos. 2 and 3 properties combined (Yahoo! Sports-NBC Sports Network had 12.9 percent, Fox Sports Digital-Sporting News Media 10.8 percent.)

More results from the August comScore multi-platform report:

  • In the average minute throughout August, 123,160 people used ESPN digital properties on computers, smartphones and tablets – a larger total day audience than Fox Sports 1 (106,704) and NBC Sports Network (74,058) on television. Among males 18 to 49 ESPN digital properties had a larger average minute audience than every Nielsen-measured national cable sports network aside from ESPN and NFL Network.1
  • ESPN was the eighth most-used digital property in the U.S. by males 18-49, more than Twitter, Amazon, eBay and Wikipedia, among others.
  • An average of 17.8 million people in the U.S. accessed ESPN content across devices on a daily basis in August, up from 12.3 million a year ago.
  • August was the 12th consecutive month in which more unique people visited ESPN on smartphones and tablets than on desktop and laptop computers (35.1 million uniques, 2.5 billion minutes of usage.)  74 percent of ESPN’s total users accessed content on mobile devices, which generated 3.0 billion minutes of usage.
  • August was the fifth straight month in which more than half of ESPN’s unique digital users (57 percent, 47.3 million people) exclusively accessed ESPN content on smartphones and tablets.
  • 55 percent of all time spent with ESPN digital content was consumed by mobile device users, the seventh time in the past 10 months that smartphones and tablets contributed a larger share of usage to ESPN’s digital total than desktop and laptop computers.
  • ESPN accounted for three of the top four sports apps on smartphones and tablets in August in terms of unique users, with SportsCenter (12.0 million) topping the category, accompanied by No. 2 WatchESPN (5.7 million) and No. 4 ESPN Fantasy Football (5.1 million).  ESPN’s portfolio of apps generated 1.5 billion minutes of usage, more than any other sports media property.

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Additional results from ESPN Research & Analytics:

  • 5.35 million unique devices streamed WatchESPN and ESPN3 content in August (up 61 percent from a year ago), as viewers spent 766 million minutes with programming across all platforms (up 101 percent).  WatchESPN experienced it’s most-viewed non-FIFA World Cup month since June 2013.2
  • Fans watched 404.1 million ESPN digital video clips in August, the fifth highest monthly total ever, and up 48 percent from a year ago.  August marked the fourth straight month with more than 400 million clips viewed.  100.8 million video clip views came from mobile phones, a new record.  64 percent of all clips were viewed on computers, 28 percent on phones and tablets, and 7 percent on connected TVs.2

ESPN networks and ABC sports television content generated 9.4 million tweets in August, accounting for 15 percent of all TV-related activity during the month. ESPN itself was the third most-social TV network (broadcast or cable) in August, with 1.4 million unique authors sending 4.5 million tweets about ESPN programming.2 Other key social media metrics:

  • ESPN’s top Twitter accounts were retweeted or favorited 7.7 million times, up 150 percent from a year ago.4
  • 7.1 million people engaged with the ESPN Facebook page (liked a post, shared a story, left a comment) up 195 percent from last year, and 11.5 million also engaged with the SportsCenter page (+500 percent).5
  • There were 35.9 million views of ESPN video on Twitter in August, a new record. 2

Source: Nielsen Media Research, 8/1-8/31/14
2 Source: Adobe Analytics
3 Source: Nielsen SocialGuide
4 Source: Twitter
5 Source: Facebook

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Media Contacts:
Kevin Ota, ESPN                      860.766.9581 or [email protected]
Kristie Chong Adler, ESPN    646.547.5637 or [email protected]

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