Fox Sports is set to announce the launch of its new sports network, Fox Sports 1, today in New York.
So what does ESPN put up on its PR-driven Front Row site late Monday afternoon? A post titled: “ESPN By The Numbers: March, 2013.”
Written by ESPN’s David Scott, the post contains this opening paragraph: “When you’ve been delivering sports fans their news, entertainment and game coverage for 33 years, you tend to accumulate a lot of impressive statistics and factoids.”
The post then basically documents the awesomeness of ESPN.
Wow, talk about timing. I mean, did ESPN know Fox Sports was making its big announcement today?
“Yes, quite a coincidence,” said an ESPN staffer, with tongue firmly in cheek even in an email.
This post was as subtle as Chris Berman narrating football highlights. It is network trashtalking at its finest. It’s Michael Jordan in his prime taunting some new NBA wannabe.
Indeed, it is saying to Fox, “We’ve got a 33-year head start; we own rights to virtually every sports property worth owning; and we have SportsCenter, (an iconic brand even with all its faults).”
So welcome to the game, Fox Sports. Good luck with your new network.
Here’s the entire Front Row post.
ESPN By the Numbers, March 2013
Make up. . .
• 8 US cable networks with more than 18,000 hours of live event programming and more than 11,900 of live studio hours
• ESPN is in 98,516,000 homes nationwide and ESPN2 is in 98,477,000
• ESPN Audio presents 9,000 hours of talk/news/events to 24 million listeners a week via 450 affiliates (360 of which are full-time) including owned and operated stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas
• ESPN Digital Media accounted for 29 percent of all sports category usage in January 2013, more than the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 sports properties combined
• ESPN the Magazine delivers more than 14 million readers with the average issue.
Our people. . .
• 7,000 worldwide employees (more than 4,000 based at headquarters in Bristol, Conn.)
• More than 1000 public facing commentators, analysts, hosts and writers
Our Connecticut campus. . .
• 1.35 Million square feet
• 123 Acres (87 in Bristol, Conn. and 36 in Southington, Conn.)
• 16 Buildings
• 27 Satellite dishes
• Additional facilities in Los Angeles, Charlotte and Austin
Digital Center 1
- 136,000 square feet
- 3 studios
- 8 production control rooms
- 22 edit suites
- 10 master control rooms
Digital Center 2 (Opening in 2014)
- 193,000 square feet
- 4 studios (including new home of SportsCenter)
- 6 production control rooms
Programming and ratings in 2012. . .
• In the fourth quarter, ESPN averaged more than 980,000 households on a 24-hour basis, and more than 2.3 M homes in prime time.
• ESPN Networks averaged 1.34M HH overall and 2.84M HH in prime.
• In prime, ESPN was the top-rated cable net overall, and among M18-34, M18-49 and M25-54.
• ESPN had the top 10 most-watched programs on cable, 14 of top 15 and 22 of top 25
• SportsCenter aired its 50,000th program in September
• 113 million different people use ESPN media each week
• The average person spends 6 hours, 57 minutes with ESPN media each week
ESPN Digital and Social Media. . .
In January 2013:
• In total ESPN digital properties attracted 62.6 million unique visitors, logging 4.97 billion minutes of usage
• Users watched 292 million ESPN digital video clips in January
• ESPN television content generated 13 million social comments, making it the “most social” cable network and the second most social network overall in January
• ESPN video content on YouTube generated 30 million views
• ESPN.com continued to lead the Sports Category with an average minute audience of 77,000, 52 percent higher than its closest competitor
• The five ESPN Local sites (New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Dallas) averaged 8.8 million unique visitors per month
• Grantland.com averaged 2.2 million unique visitors and 26.8 million total minutes per month
• WatchESPN distribution (which includes live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Goal Line/Buzzer Beater) is now available to more than 50 million households nationwide
• ESPN Mobile ranked No. 1 across the mobile Web and apps for total minutes (642 million), unique visitors (13.3 million), and an average minute audience of 14,600
ESPN’s value. . .
• Almost all Americans have heard of the ESPN Brand (98 percent); while a vast majority (93 percent) are familiar with it
• ESPN is the favorite network (broadcast or cable) among men
• In Beta Research Corp’s annual Cable Operator Evaluation Study, operators named ESPN the network with the most average perceived value among all networks measured for the 13th straight year
• ESPN also ranked the most important network in their cable system for the ninth straight year with 95 percent of operators describing ESPN as “very important” for subscriber retention and acquisition
• ESPN2 ranked second in average perceived value among cable operators for the eighth straight year. The network also ranked No. 5 as the most important network to operators among the 46 measured networks, up from No. 9 in 2011
Note: Digital traffic numbers are from comScore.