ESPN’s Weekday Studio Shows Grow Audience in March

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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

It was 32 years at ESPN for me as of November 2018 (the only job I’ve ever had) after joining merely to help with the America’s Cup for three months at a robust $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 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 and Indy 500; Wimbledon (11 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, in addition to overseeing the Fan Relations, Archives and, my main areas are tennis, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including ESPN’s history and growth.