Return of Sports Boosts ESPN Podcasts in August

ESPN Podcasts

Return of Sports Boosts ESPN Podcasts in August

FiveThirtyEight Posts One of its Best Months Ever

The unusual confluence of all major professional sports in August heated up ESPN Podcast listenership, as ESPN posted its best month ever and grew 29% over August 2019.

In addition, the combined podcast network of ESPN / ABC / FiveThirtyEight / National Geographic posted an increase of 44% year-over-year.  In particular and reflective of increased attention to the coming presidential election, FiveThirtyEight enjoyed one of its best months ever and grew 178% from a year ago.

“It is clear that when current events are on the mind of listeners – be it sports or politics – fans turn to our network of podcasts for the best in analysis, storytelling and discussion,” said Tom Ricks, ESPN Audio’s vice president, digital marketing and strategy.  “As baseball heads towards the playoffs, the NFL starts up and the election comes closer, we are focused on delivering our best for fans in a time like no other.”

According to The Podtrac Podcast Category Audience Rankings, in August ESPN was home to 13 of the top 30 podcasts, including five of the top 10.  Of note, The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz – which in August added two hours of podcast-exclusive content each weekday – ranked second with a unique audience of 1.282 million.  That represents an increase of 33% over July.  Also, the return of the NBA boosted The Lowe Post (seventh on the list) to a monthly increase of 231%, more than triple its audience in August 2019.

 

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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. 
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