Streaming and Out-of-Home Boost ESPN’s Millennial Audience: Up 23 Percent in Total Day, 28 Percent in Prime Time over Traditional Viewership

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Streaming and Out-of-Home Boost ESPN’s Millennial Audience: Up 23 Percent in Total Day, 28 Percent in Prime Time over Traditional Viewership

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Millennial Viewing Overall Up 4 Percent in Total Day, 13 Percent in Prime Time Year-Over-Year, per Nielsen Total Live Audience


Comprehensive results from ESPN’s first seven weeks of Nielsen Total Live Audience are in, and the data shows that streaming and out-of-home (OOH) are contributing significant incremental audience. Specifically among Millennials (Persons 18-34), ESPN saw a 23 percent increase in Total Day and a 28 percent increase in Prime Time over ESPN’s traditional viewership. As a result, ESPN saw 4 percent and 13 percent year-over-year growth in Total Day and Prime Time viewing overall, respectively, among Millennials during that time period. Additionally, Millennials drive nearly half of all ESPN streaming (46 percent), while females specifically make up a sizable 34 percent of all Millennial OOH viewing. Furthermore, Total Live Audience among Millennial females increases by more than 12 percent with the inclusion of OOH measurement.

“These early findings from Nielsen tell us that Total Live Audience is the only meaningful way to understand sports consumption, including key insights into our Millennial viewers,” said Cary Meyers, SVP of Fan and Media Intelligence, ESPN. “We will continue to mine this data to not only inform us on how best to

serve fans with our content, but also to guide advertisers on how best to optimize their brand on our platform with specific audiences.”

From Sept. 25 through Nov. 12, 2017, the inclusion of streaming and OOH added 14 percent more audience overall to ESPN’s traditional viewership across both Total Day and Prime Time. Other lifts over traditional audiences from streaming and OOH include:

  • Among Adults 25-54, C3 ratings received a substantial 18 percent increase by including streaming and OOH.
  • ESPN’s college football, Monday Night Football and NBA audiences specifically saw 16 percent, 13 percent and 18 percent lifts, respectively. For Millennials, the lifts were even larger – 33 percent for college football, 26 percent for Monday Night Football and 27 percent for the NBA.
  • Streaming and OOH also boosted ESPN’s Millennial audience for College GameDay (33 percent lift), Monday Night Countdown (28 percent), First Take (19 percent), SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt (14 percent) and Sunday NFL Countdown (16 percent).

Note: Streaming of ESPN on ABC broadcasts is currently not included in Nielsen Total Live Audience at this time.



Kristie Adler

Kristie is Director of Communications. She graduated from Penn State University and is based in New York City.
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