Early to rise: ESPN morning programming a hit with young men

In television advertising, it’s long been known that as the night gets later, the audience gets younger, especially with young males. And ESPN benefits.

Late-night SportsCenter is the No. 1 destination for Men 18-34, beating all the late-night talk shows (after 11 p.m. ET). What is less widely known is that young men also wake up with ESPN.

Against the morning news shows on broadcast networks, First Take (ESPN, 10 a.m. ET) is the clear leader in delivering male millennials. And SportsCenter:AM is third, with ABC’s Good Morning America slotted in between in second. Those three are followed by NBC’s “The Today Show,” “CBS This Morning,” and the syndicated “Live with Kelly.”

In addition, compared to the three cable news programs, First Take does even better. It draws more than four times the number of M18-34 than any of them (FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends,” CNN’s “New Day” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”) and nearly double their combined total.

Also, as in late night, ESPN’s shows have a much younger audience.

The median age for SportsCenter:AM is 39, for First Take it’s 41. The youngest of the competition’s morning news shows is . . . no less than 57, and ranging up to 65.

It turns out, this research is timely for the ad sales staff.

“These are valuable insights as we talk to advertisers about the upcoming Mike Greenberg morning show,” says ESPN Executive Vice President, Global Advertising Revenue and Sales Operations, Eric Johnson. “It’s great to show our clients how well we perform among this coveted demographic – especially when we’re up against brand name, legacy shows.”

ESPN Tops Morning Viewing Ratings For Young Male Millenials

According to Nielsen Media Research, L+SD, 6/27/16-6/25/17, ESPN is setting the television viewing pace for young men in the morning.

NetworkProgramM18-34 Imps (000)
ESPNFirst Take107
ABCGood Morning America92
ESPNSportsCenter A.M.82
NBC"Today"81
CBS"CBS This Morning"80
Syndicated"Live with Kelly"73
FOX News"FOX & Friends"24
CNN"New Day"21
MSNBC"Morning Joe"14

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