ESPN’s Weekday Studio Shows Grow Audience in March

AnnouncementsFirst TakeStudio Shows

ESPN’s Weekday Studio Shows Grow Audience in March

  • Midnight SportsCenter up 15%; Four Editions of SportsCenter See Rise among Viewers 18-34
  • First Take Sets Record for March, Quarter; Leads Cable in Time Slot for Young Men
  • Many Shows See Increases among Viewers 18-34

Many of ESPN’s weekday daytime studio shows saw audience growth in the last month over March 2017 (P2+).  In addition, a number of shows saw an increase among viewers 18-34, including four separate editions of SportsCenter.

For First Take, it was a particularly noteworthy month:

  • It was the most-viewed March ever for First Take (average of 433,000 viewers, up 2%).
  • It was the most-viewed first quarter of the year ever for the show (average of 474,000, up 4%)
  • First Take’s audience has grown year over year for nine consecutive months and 11 of the last 12.
  • In March in the First Take time slot (Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m. – Noon ET), ESPN ranked as the top cable network among Men 18-34, Men 18-49 and Men 25-54

Other ESPN studio shows with audience growth in March:

  • The midnight SportsCenter is up15% to an average of 632,000 and the 6 p.m. show is up 4% to an average of 498,000
  • NFL Live up 10% to an average of 330,000
  • The Jump up 6% to an average of 326,000
  • SportsNation up 4% to an average of 352,000

Those and other ESPN studio shows saw increases in March among young viewers (People 18-34).  These include four separate editions of SportsCenter – A.M. (7-10 a.m.), noon, midnight and the 1 a.m. edition plus First Take, OTL, NFL Live, The Jump and SportsNation.

(Source:  Nielsen 2/26/18-3/30/18, M-Su 6a-6a, Includes DTVR, Live+Same Day.)




Dave Nagle

As I write this on 11-11-21, it's now 35 years for me at ESPN, the only real job I’ve ever had. I joined merely to help with the upcoming America’s Cup in Australia. I was told it would be for three months at all of $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville, Darlington, Indy and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals, Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, my main areas are tennis, UFC, boxing, network-wide ratings (by month/quarter/year), and corporate communications documents, including fact sheets, chronologies, lists and nearly 35 of the Year in Review press releases. UPDATE EXACTLY ONE YEAR LATER: Today, November 11, 2022, I am retiring from ESPN -- 36 years to the day I began. As I ride off into the sunset – top down and E Street Radio blaring – I do so with so many wonderful memories, proud of my contributions and a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity. 
Back to top button