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ESPN Press Releases 2008

JULY 3, 2008
Best Second Quarter Ever for ESPN & ESPN2 June's Top Seven TV Audiences Were ESPN on ABC Programming

Thanks to large audiences tuning to ESPN for the NBA playoffs, SportsCenter, the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament and golf's Masters Tournament and U.S. Open, the network posted its most-viewed second quarter in history, averaging 704,000 households on a 24-hour basis.  In addition, ESPN2 also set new marks for total day household audience.

The quarter ended with ESPN on ABC programming topping the list of June's top seven audiences in all of television.  The top six were the six games of the NBA Finals and the seventh was the Belmont Stakes, all on ABC.

For ESPN, the household audience represents an increase of 20% over the second quarter of 2007 (586,000) and breaks the record set in 2006 (665,000).  For the period of March 31 - June 29, the network averaged a 0.7 rating, up 17% from a 0.6 last year, and 824,000 viewers (P2+), up 20% from last year (689,000) and also a new record (2006: 783,000).  ESPN's coverage of the first two hours of the U.S. Open playoff on Monday, June 16, attracted the largest household audience for golf in cable TV history, breaking the record set two months earlier with round two of ESPN's first-ever presentation of The Masters on Friday, April 11.

ESPN also set a new household audience mark in primetime, averaging 1,347,000 homes, up 21% from 2007 and breaking the record set in 2006.  The prime-time rating was 1.4, up 17% from 1.2 a year ago, with viewers up 22% (from 1,415,000 to 1,730,000).

ESPN2 - boosted by Euro 2008, the NASCAR Nationwide Series, tennis' French Open and last week's coverage of Wimbledon, as well as the continued growth for the live weekday morning lineup of ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning (6 - 10 a.m. ET) and FirstTake (10 a.m. - noon) - also enjoyed its most-watched second quarter.  ESPN2 averaged 272,000 homes, up 11% from 246,000 in 2007 and breaking the record of 256,000 set in 2006.  The network averaged a 0.3 rating for the quarter both years, although the increase for viewers was 10%, from 294,000 to 322,000.

By Month

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS each posted its best April ever.
ESPN2 and ESPNEWS each posted its best May ever while ESPN's 24-hour audience grew 21% over last year, and was the second largest for the month in the network's history.
ESPN posted its best June ever.  ESPN2's 24-hour audience was up 12% from last year.
In June, ESPN's 24-hour audience was up 18% from last year, and ESPN2 was up 12%.

JUNE 30, 2008
ESPN, ESPN2 Score Best-Ever Marks With College World Series

Comparatively speaking, it might not have been as many runs as the champion Fresno State Bulldogs put on the board, but ESPN and ESPN2 both scored well with their coverage of the College World Series.

ESPN rang up a 1.1 rating average, 1.09 million households and 1.41 million viewers for its nine telecasts, marking gains of 22%,.27% and 26% over its five-telecast average during the 2007 tournament, according to Nielsen Media Research data. From a viewership perspective, this year's action from Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium was the network's best ever, while the ratings average tied its performance in 2004 and 2006.

The June 25 title game, in which Fresno State topped the Georgia Bulldogs 6-1 in the decisive third contest, garnered a 2.0 rating and 1.9 million households, second only to the 2.2 for Oregon State's triumph over North Carolina on June 26, 2006, when the Beavers won the crown in the third game. With the 2008 CWS, ESPN2 averaged a 0.8 rating, 771,000 households and 988,000 total viewers for seven telecasts. The network matched the ratings average for 10 games last year, while increasing the other totals by 3% apiece, according to officials. Fresno State, which dropped the opener to Georgia 7-6, before rallying to win the second game, 19-10, scored 31 runs over the three-contest set, to become the lowest seed ever to win the CWS.

JANUARY 3, 2008
Record January for Broadband Sports Coverage on
Nearly 400 Live Events; Largest Single-Day Schedule (34 Events)

Programming Highlights:  Australian Open, NBA, College Basketball, Stanford Twenty20 Cricket, Winter X Games, Italian Cup Soccer, ESPN's signature live sports broadband network, will feature its most robust programming schedule ever in January - delivering at least 390 live sports events to fans during the month.  The schedule will feature a host of major US sports competitions including more than 450 hours of Australian Open coverage, more than 225 college basketball games, multiple NBA games, and Winter X Games 12.  Additionally, will bring U.S. fans a full lineup of global sporting events including exclusive coverage of the Stanford Twenty20 Cricket Tournament from Antigua, Italian Cup, Dubai Cup and Dubai Challenge soccer, Venezuelan, Dominican and Mexican baseball, and more.

The record programming lineup comes as the broadband sports network has seen increased usage since its September relaunch.  Since September 4, sports fans have logged nearly 500,000 hours viewing sports events on  According to a recent survey from Horowitz Associates*, sports content is among the most popular online video content with about one out of five high-speed Internet subscribers accessing sports news and sports events on a weekly basis.

Biggest Single Day & 1000th Event
January will also mark its largest single-day programming lineup (34 live events,
on Jan. 26) and's 1000th event since its September 1 relaunch, a college basketball game on Jan. 5 (Cincinnati vs. St. Johns).

Programming Highlights's full, current schedule of January programming is available at:

Highlights of January programming include:
Australian Open will deliver hundreds of hours of live multi-court coverage from the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 13.  Look for more details and a complete schedule in a press release next week.

College Basketball
In January, continues its complete online college basketball coverage, delivering more than 225 men's and women's NCAA basketball games during the month.  On the season, is offering fans the most comprehensive college basketball coverage available, delivering more than 900 men's and women's college basketball games.

Stanford Twenty20 Cricket and the Stanford Twenty20 Cricket Tournament have reached an agreement for exclusive U.S. broadband coverage for all matches of the 2008 and 2009 tournaments. The Stanford Twenty20 Tournament is a single-elimination knockout cricket competition featuring teams from multiple Caribbean territories, with the winning team taking home a purse of $1 million and the runner up taking home $500,000. Created by Antiguan financier Sir Allen Stanford, the inaugural Tournament took place in July/August 2006 with Guyana emerging as the Stanford Twenty20 Champions. Twenty teams will compete in the 2008 Tournament, held in Antigua, including:

Antigua and Barbuda
Bermuda ,
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
St. Kitts
St. Lucia
St. Maarten
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago and the US Virgin Islands.

International Soccer:  Italian Cup, Dubai Cup, Dubai Challenge has completed rights agreements to deliver soccer fans multiple complete coverage of the Dubai Cup invitational and Dubai Challenge invitational, as well as multiple Italian Cup soccer matches, all in January.  The coverage will feature many of the world's top teams, including FC Porto, Inter Milan, Juventas FC, AS Roma and more.

Winter X Games 12
Beginning January 24 and continuing through the end of competition January 27, will deliver more than 40 hours of live coverage, including complete simulcasts of all ESPN and ESPN2 coverage, as well as extensive exclusive coverage of practice and competitions. will also provide live online coverage.  Look for more details about the complete schedule in a coming release.

The new is a 24/7 live sports destination online, delivering more than 2,500 live global sports events per year. The service offers a mosaic of screens that allow users to follow multiple events simultaneously, and expanded controls including live-event pause, rewind and fast forward. is available at no additional charge to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider.  It has more than doubled its distribution since August 2006, and is available in 20 million households nationwide via more than 25 Internet service providers around the country including AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and more.