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Viewership Analysis: ESPN / FS1 / FootballScoop / NBCSN / CBSSN


An article about Fox Sports 1's "success" caught our eye this weekend. Only one month in (although it sure seems like they have been promoting this for at least a year), Fox personnel are claiming victory over NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network (clearly though, as shown below, they have a long, long way to go before challenging ESPN). The article made us think to take a look at how FootballScoop's numbers would fit into such an analysis.

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So, here's what we did. The article by Adweek (based upon Nielsen data) says ESPN averaged 4.2 million viewers during primetime last week. Fox Sports 1 averaged about 300,000 during primetime, NBC Sports Network managed 100,000 viewers and the article notes that CBS Sports Network isn't even rated by Nielsen because they have a "distribution footprint of just 48 million homes". We took a look, ESPN is in 98 million homes, FS1 is in 90 million homes and NBCSN is in 78 million homes. Accordingly, we estimated CBS' "Primetime Viewership". For those wondering, @FootballScoop has 40 millionthousand followers on twitter. The figures shown in the chart represent average daily "primetime" numbers for the TV networks and average "primetime" daily visits for FootballScoop.

Further, given that we are in mid-September, with NFL and college football games near nightly and MLB pennant races coming down to the wire, this is about as good of primetime ratings as the large networks should expect. Accordingly, for FootballScoop, we used our ratings (via Google Analytics) from last December and January as our basis as we consider that our "primetime". 

Yes, we're just having fun with this; but the numbers sure are interesting to us at least. Here are a couple more items we figured we'd include...






Est. Marketing Budget

Billions w a "B"

Hundreds of Millions 

Never advertised 

$100 million 

$40 million

"On-air" talent: 

Chris Fowler 

Erin Andrews

Scott Roussel

Mike Florio

Jim Rome

Kirk Herbstreit 

Canadian Guys 

Doug Samuels 

Michelle Beadle 

Tim Brando 

Rece Davis

Charissa Thompson 

Zach Barnett 

Bob Costas 

Tony Barnhart 

Desmond Howard

Gus Johnson 

Dan Patrick 

Doug Gottlieb 

Scott Van Pelt

Donovan McNabb 

Bruce Feldman 

Stuart Scott

Charles Davis 

Gary Danielson 

Sam Ponder

Eddie George 

Uncle Verne 

Trey Wingo

Katie Nolan 

Tracy Wolfson 

Chris Mortensen

Clay Travis 

Adam Schefter

For those who aren't completely familiar with our style, to be clear, we are not really saying that FootballScoop is larger than NBC Sports Network or CBS Sports Network in their total reach. We just thought the "primetime" numbers were interesting when compared across platforms. More than anything, we honestly thought the most interesting info was just seeing how enormous ESPN is compared to everything else. 

When you are a successful business, as ESPN is, others will try to follow your success (happens to all of us). While the ESPN PR guys likely follow the numbers, we're pretty sure the ESPN on-air people just stay focused on doing their job to the best of their ability and as ESPN PR noted (and as we've seen as well), the leaders' numbers just keep getting better. I would think Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit hope FS1 does well as presumably that would give them even further incentive to keep excelling at what they do (but I'm also pretty sure they have never seen FS1). I personally know that we never wish anyone anything but success. 

We do thank each and every one of you for helping us build FootballScoop into something nearly the entire coaching community turns to every single day of the year. Your support is what we take pride in and we thank you.