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Latest TV Ratings For ESPN2’s EPL Coverage


The Nielsen Ratings for ESPN2’s most recent Premier League match have been released. For the October 3rd game between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur, the network achieved a 0.2 rating with an audience of approximately 265,508 viewers.

The Bolton against Spurs game garnered the fifth highest Premier League TV ratings for ESPN2. The ratings for the nine games so far this season are:

  1. Liverpool v Aston Villa, Mon., Aug. 24, 3 pm, 398,391 viewers
  2. Wigan v Man United, Sat., Aug. 22, 10 am, 374,799
  3. Manchester City v West Ham United, Mon., Sept. 28, 3pm, 293,600
  4. Portsmouth v Everton, Sat., Sept. 26, 7:45am, 270,927
  5. Bolton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur, Sat., Oct. 3, 10am, 265,508
  6. Chelsea v Burnley, Sat., Aug. 29, 7:45 am, 253,934
  7. Liverpool v Burnley, Sat., Sept. 12, 10 am, 253,779
  8. Burnley v Sunderland, Sat., Sept. 19, 7:45 am, 199,380
  9. Chelsea v Hull City, Sat., Aug. 15, 7:45 am, 164,485

ESPN2’s next televised Premier League match is this Saturday at 7:45am featuring Aston Villa versus Chelsea.

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  1. leviramsey

    October 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    I posted this in the last ESPN ratings thread, but it might get more notice here.

    Monday’s Wall Street Journal ran an article on Comcast’s potential acquisition of a controlling stake in NBC Universal. In the article, they stated that Versus averages 125,000 viewers over the course of the day, a little more than a third of what ESPN2 averages. So ESPN2 has about 350k viewers at any given time.

    If we break up the week into 42 six-hour blocks, then the implied sum of average viewership during each block is about 14.7 million. By deducting reasonable estimates of viewership for other periods, we can get an idea of what the non-football viewership of ESPN2 normally is.

    Most nights of the year, ESPN2 seems to carry college basketball or baseball games in prime time (7pm – 11pm). Figure that those average 1 million viewers seven nights a week and you’re taking out 7 million viewers, leaving 7.7 million over 35 blocks (220k per block). The two hours on either side of primetime probably get 400k viewers over 7 blocks, leaving 4.9 million for 28 blocks (175k per block). We’ll assume that no one is watching from 1am-7am (10.5 blocks), so the average of the remaining 17.5 blocks is (280k viewers).

    Saturday and Sunday afternoons are another big time for ESPN2, with college football, NASCAR, and college basketball among other sports. Since there’s always some sort of event in these slots (while not always a game in primetime), then we can probably safely say 1 million viewers on average. That’s 2 million viewers over the two blocks, leaving 2.9 million viewers over the remaining 15.5 blocks (187k average).

    It’s unlikely that ESPN was getting noticeably better ratings from the non-football programming in Monday afternoon and Saturday morning slots, and the football may well be cheaper to put on than the shows that were displaced: I doubt ESPN is paying that much to FSC for the rights (especially since they’re promoting FSC and Setanta in the broadcasts) and the studio content is being provided by either ESPN UK or Soccernet.

    • The Gaffer

      October 14, 2009 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks for sharing LeviRamsey. I saw the previous comment, but I agree that it’s worth posting again. Excellent research and thanks for sharing.

      One note I would add that I don’t think ESPN is paying that much attention to FSC’s ratings. But I have a sneaky feeling that FSC is keeping a close eye on ESPN’s ratings. Why? The competition for advertising dollars.

      The Gaffer

  2. Footballer

    October 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    i see the DVRs have been busy for the monday games.

    so glad they’re back!

  3. man99utd

    October 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

    The numbers look good for the Tottenham match. Considering they were playing Bolton and the technical problems and direct competition from FSC. I hope they continue to rise. Chelsea v. Aston Villa at the weekend should be a good indicator.

    • Duke

      October 14, 2009 at 10:02 am

      I was thinking the same thing: The numbers for this weekend’s match should be telling.

      Still, it’s a matter of whether ESPN is making money — or sees the potential to make money — on this coverage or not. Let’s hope they are…

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