via press release:
College Football: ABC & ESPN Top All Networks on Saturday Night
ABC : Week’s Most-Viewed Game
ESPN, ABC & ESPNU Increases Over 2012
Millions Go to ESPN Mobile Offerings
Birmingham Leads Metered Markets for ESPN & ESPN2 Night Games
telecasts helped ABC and ESPN to finish as the top two networks across cable and broadcast among households, viewers and all key demographics on September 21.
The ABCPresented by Windows – Michigan over Connecticut 24-21 and Texas over Kansas State 31-21 – was the most-viewed college football game of the week across all platforms, averaging 5,727,000 viewers and a 3.5 . It also helped ABC to win the night among households, viewers, and men and adult 18-34 and 18-49 demographics.
ESPN’s Saturday prime-time telecast – LSU beating Auburn 35-21 – averaged 3,799,000 viewers and a 2.2 rating, helping the network to finish the night second among households, viewers, and men and adult 18-34 and 18-49 demographics. In addition, ESPN was first among all networks in the men and adult 25-54 demographics with ABC finishing second.
Following this weekend’s games, ABC and ESPN have combined to win every Saturday night during the first four weeks of the season (August 31 to September 21).
ABC and game telecasts are generating larger audiences in the 2013 season than the same point in 2012, led by increases for ABC and ESPN’s Saturday and Thursday prime time series. ESPNU’s Saturday telecasts are also posting more viewers than last season.
ESPN’s Saturday night series is experiencing significant growth over last season, averaging 4,220,000 viewers and a 2.5 rating this season for increases of 39 percent (vs. 3,026,000) and 32 percent (vs. 1.9), respectively. The network’s weekly Thursday game has also generated larger audiences over 2012, averaging 2,768,000 viewers and a 1.8 rating, marking increases of 16 percent (vs. 2,384,000) and 13 percent (vs. 1.6), respectively.
ESPN’s overall college football game coverage is averaging 3,288,000 viewers and a 2.1 rating, 18 percent (vs. 2,798,000) and 17 percent (vs. 1.8) higher than 2012 games.
ESPNU’s Saturday game telecasts have increased by 31 percent in viewers (523,000 vs. 398,000) and 50 percent in ratings (0.3 vs. 0.2) over last season.
In addition, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU are the three most-viewed cable networks for overall game averages through the fourth week of the season.
Metered Markets for ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday Night Games Led by Birmingham
Even though Birmingham fans watched ESPN2’s coverage of Alabama’s 31-6 victory over Colorado State in large numbers, they were keeping a close eye on LSU beating Auburn 35-21 on ESPN. Birmingham was the top metered market for ESPN2’s game with a 39.1 rating (the third highest-rated regular-season college football game on ESPN2 in Birmingham since 2000) and the second largest rated market for ESPN’s telecast with a 22.8 rating.
New Orleans was the highest-rated metered market for ESPN’s Saturday night game, averaging a 26.5 rating for the third highest-rated regular-season college football game on ESPN in New Orleans since 2007.
Top 10 metered markets for ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday night telecasts:
Auburn at LSU on ESPN: New Orleans (26.5), Birmingham (22.8), Knoxville (7.3), Atlanta (6.0), Memphis (5.7), Jacksonville (5.6), (5.4), Greenville (5.0), Orlando (3.3) and Charlotte (3.0).
Colorado State at Alabama on ESPN2: Birmingham (39.1), Knoxville (4.9), Atlanta (4.4), (4.3), Denver (3.9), Memphis (3.7), Jacksonville (2.9), Greenville (2.7), Orlando (2.5) and New Orleans (2.3).
ESPN Digital Platforms Continue to Post Growth
ESPN Digital Media’s college football content across all platforms – ESPN.com homepage and college football section, the ESPN Mobile Web college football section, the ESPN ScoreCenter app’s college football card, WatchESPN/ESPN3 and the app – continued significant growth in the fourth week of the season, generating an average audience of 225,000 on Saturday, an increase of 4 percent over 2012.
On Saturday, more than 6,400,000 fans accessed the ScoreCenter app with an average minute audience of 94,000 (up 8 percent and 44 percent over 2012, respectively). ESPN’s College Football app reached more than 1,200,000 unique visitors with an average minute audience of 9,400 (up 34 percent and 17 percent over 2012, respectively).
Also on Saturday, video starts of college football content on ESPN.com totaled 3,800,000, up 61 percent over last year.