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“Share Is Where ESPN Really Shines.”

In 2020, it's even clearer to see: ESPN SVP, Research & Insights, Cary Meyers cites share of the main feed of ESPN's MegaCast CFP Championship on Monday rose 12% among total viewers from last year

It seems that every day brings us a new example of just how dominant live sports have become on TV.

Sports accounted for 92 of the 100 most-viewed telecasts on broadcast and cable in 2019 — the highest number of sports telecasts ever to be included in the yearly list of TV’s top 100 shows. And, ESPN alone captured 13 of the top 15 telecasts on cable in 2019. But, the sheer size of the audience isn’t the only way we judge how well ESPN is doing. We also look at relative performance, or share – i.e., of all the people watching TV right now, what percent are watching a specific program or network.

Share is where ESPN really shines.

Over the past couple of years, ESPN has grown its share of the TV audience by 10% among Adults 18-49 and by 13% among Adults 25-54 – both of which are key audience segments for advertisers.

Monday night’s College Football Playoff Championship was no exception, as the share of the main feed rose 12% among total viewers, 13% among Adults 18-49, and 15% among Adults 25-54 from last year.

To put that in even greater perspective, one-third of all Adults 18-49 watching TV on Monday night were watching the CFP Championship.

This is hot off the heels of impressive double-digit share growth for Monday Night Football, up 15% for total viewers, up 19% for Adults 18-49, and up 17% for Adults 25-54 compared to last year.

Increasing share illustrates sports’ popularity and how ESPN is vitally and increasingly important.

Coach Ed Orgeron (purple shirt) and QB Joe Burrow (9) of the LSU Tigers celebrate winning the 2020 CFP National Championship.
(Scott Clarke/ ESPN Images)
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