ESPN Podcasts Set Record in 2020 with 500M Downloads – Up 28%

ESPN Podcasts

ESPN Podcasts Set Record in 2020 with 500M Downloads – Up 28%

The Right Time with Bomani Jones Leads Growth, Nearly Doubling its Audience.

ESPN Podcasts experienced strong growth in 2020, with downloads growing 28% to nearly 500,000,000, a new record (499.3 million).  The old mark was set a year ago.

The strongest month was September.  ESPN set a record with 50.1 million downloads (up 45% from 2019) while the combined network of ESPN / ABC / FiveThirtyEight / National Geographic totaled more than ever with 67.3 (up 55% vs. 2019).

“It was another big year for ESPN Podcasts, yet another with new records and offerings,” said Pete Gianesini, senior director, digital audio programming.  “As sports return to their customary place on the calendar, we expect our momentum to continue.”

Among original podcasts, the show with the biggest growth was The Right Time with Bomani Jones.  It nearly doubled its audience, showing a 96% increase in downloads.

Other significant increases were posted by DC & Helwani (+63%), The Lowe Post (+62%), and Brian Windhorst and the Hoop Collective (+60%), all of which set new annual download records, as did ESPN’s longest-running original podcast, Fantasy Focus Football, which is completing its 14th season.



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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