[04/02/08 - 02:31 PM]
Best First Quarter Ever for ESPN2 & Espnews
ESPN spins the numbers for the first quarter of 2008.

[via press release from ESPN]

Best First Quarter Ever for ESPN2 & ESPNEWS

ESPN Up 15%, Sets New Mark for March

ESPN2 and ESPNEWS each posted their best first quarter ever, averaging more households than any previous January � March. In addition, ESPN's 24-hour audience was up 15 percent from 2007.

Also, ESPN posted its most-viewed March ever and ESPNEWS set a new mark all three months in the quarter.

ESPN averaged 647,000 homes, up 15 percent from 2007 (565,000) to its second best all time (2006 � 672,000). The network was boosted by larger audiences for the NBA, college basketball and SportsCenter.

For March, its best ever, ESPN averaged 640,000 homes on a total-day basis, also up 15 percent from 2007 (556,000). In addition to the record for overall audience, the network set marks in all key male demos (Men 18+, 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54). The month included increased audiences for the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, along with two ESPN records � Black Magic, the network's most-watched documentary ever (an average of 1,211,000 homes), and the network's most-watched Major League Baseball Opening Night telecast (2,700,000 homes).

ESPN2 averaged 263,000 homes, its best for first quarter ever and up four percent from first quarter of 2007 (253,000). The network also set marks in all key male demos (Men 18+, 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54). Its performance reflects growth for women's college basketball including the NCAA Tournament, and continuing growth of the weekday morning lineup � ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning (6 � 10 a.m. ET) and FirstTake (10 a.m. � noon). That six-hour block averaged 214,000 homes, up 29 percent from the same quarter a year ago (166,000)

In March, ESPN2 averaged three percent more homes than a year ago, 254,000, its second best ever and up from 247,000 in 2007 (2006 � 258,000). Last Saturday, the IndyCar season opener was the most-watched for the series in ESPN2 history (815,000 homes).

For ESPNEWS, the first quarter brought the network's most-watched January, February and March, and subsequently its best first quarter ever, an average of 62,000 households. That represents an increase of 10 percent over 2007 (56,000).

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