ESPN up but rebels close in on the Death Star: How many more homes is ESPN in than FS1? – September 2016 edition

 

If you want to skip the jibber jabber you can just scroll down to the tables. If you’re on a mobile phone, please tilt it sideways so you can  read the tables.

Highlights:

After many, many months of declines, ESPN and everybody else was up in Nielsen’s September cable coverage estimates. But despite the up month for ESPN, FS1 made up considerable ground. In the August estimates FS1 trailed ESPN by 6.1 million homes but in the September estimates that gap was reduced to 3.9 million.

Many people are saying (on my Twitter feed) that “those numbers don’t mean much if nobody watches your network” but at least to the degree that the numbers are correct, the numbers do matter even in the absence of viewership since ESPN is paid around $7/mo/household and FS1 is paid around $1/mo/household. So especially annualized, a million (or a few million) additional households is real money by my standards.

Why Did The Numbers Change

For the five of you who’ll read this, I can’t give you all the answers you’re looking for as the Nielsen estimates have always been a bit of a black box to me, but I do have some info. For starters, I can tell you that they did not change because of OTT services like SlingTV and PS Vue being counted. They still aren’t counted. They also didn’t change because bars, hotels and airports suddenly counted in these numbers.

An increase of nearly 1.5% was applied across-the-board. Why? I’m not totally sure. I think it had something to do with updated census bureau data. Yep, ESPN was only up 1.2% so I’m guessing under the old methodology ESPN would have lost roughly a few hundred thousand households.

The HUGE spike for NFL Network was a result of both the 1.5% increase and the resolution of the network’s carriage dispute with Dish. I think the bigger-than-1.5% gains for FS1 also had something to do with Dish but I don’t keep my eyes on that stuff as much as I should.

On to the tables — sports nets first followed by all cable networks in alphabetical order.

Nielsen cable (includes satellite & telco services) coverage estimates for the measured cable sports networks for September 2016

If you’re on a mobile phone these tables should be much easier to read if you tilt your phone to landscape mode.

Network nameEstimated # of Homes (000)Coverage %August 2016 Estimate (000)Change Since Aug (000)
BEIN SPORT24,14921%23,554595
BEIN SPORT ESPANOL18,25616%18,073183
ESPN89,85677%88,7811,075
ESPN289,74077%88,6511,089
ESPNU71,54861%70,4221,126
FOX DEPORTES22,56419%22,359205
FS185,93174%82,7023,229
FS251,80645%51,443363
GOLF CHANNEL76,23165%75,0961,135
MLB NETWORK67,11658%66,1051,011
NBA-TV54,36747%53,746621
NBC SPORTS NETWORK84,52073%82,9411,579
NFL NETWORK70,89261%63,4177,475
UNIVISION DEPORTES47,88741%47,181706
Total Cable99,25085%97,7961,454

All data ©Nielsen (data provided by a variety of TV network sources and not directly from Nielsen)

Nielsen September 2016 coverage estimates for all measured cable channels in the national panel:

If you’re on a mobile phone these tables should be much easier to read if you tilt your phone to landscape mode.

Network nameEstimated # of Homes (000)Coverage %
A&E NETWORK92,21078%
ADULT SWIM92,69078%
AMC92,21178%
AMERICAN HEROES CHANNEL (Formerly MILITARY CHANNEL)57,28748%
ANIMAL PLANET90,97677%
BABY FIRST TV54,14546%
BBC-AMERICA77,80866%
BEIN SPORT24,14920%
BEIN SPORT ESPANOL18,25615%
BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TV85,52472%
BOOMERANG45,50938%
BRAVO88,85575%
CENTRIC52,28644%
CHILLER38,14632%
CLOO (Formerly SLEUTH)24,81621%
CMT79,77267%
CNBC90,22276%
CNN (Formerly CABLE NEWS NETWORK)93,34079%
CNN / HLN94,33880%
COMEDY CENTRAL91,12277%
COOKING CHANNEL (Formerly FINE LIVING)66,25856%
DESTINATION AMERICA (Formerly PLANET GREEN)56,13647%
DISCOVERY CHANNEL93,45779%
DISCOVERY EN ESPANOL6,1765%
DISCOVERY FAMILIA5,6095%
DISCOVERY FAMILY CHANNEL (Formerly THE HUB)65,81156%
DISCOVERY LIFE CHANNEL (Formerly DISCOVERY FIT & HEALTH)47,52540%
DISNEY CHANNEL93,25179%
DISNEY JUNIOR74,37763%
DISNEY XD (Formerly TOON DISNEY)77,85766%
DIY NETWORK61,61952%
E! ENTERTAINMENT TV91,50577%
EL REY45,29738%
ESPN89,85676%
ESPN289,74076%
ESPNU71,54860%
ESQUIRE NETWORK (Formerly STYLE)67,13457%
FM (formerly NUVO TV)36,49031%
FOOD NETWORK94,49880%
FOX BUSINESS NETWORK85,50472%
FOX DEPORTES22,56419%
FOX NEWS CHANNEL91,69277%
FOX SPORTS 1 (Formerly SPEED)85,93173%
FOX SPORTS 2 (Formerly FUEL)51,80644%
FREEFORM (Formerly ABC FAMILY)91,00977%
FUSE67,01157%
FX91,65277%
FX MOVIE CHANNEL57,37648%
FXX (Formerly FOX SOCCER CHANNEL)81,97669%
FYI (Formerly BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL)68,08258%
GALAVISION67,90257%
GOLF CHANNEL76,23164%
GREAT AMERICAN COUNTRY58,96550%
GSN78,85467%
HALLMARK CHANNEL89,93576%
HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES (Formerly HALLMARK MOVIE CHANNEL)67,63357%
HBO – THE WORKS36,08630%
HBO PRIME35,53430%
HEADLINE NEWS92,42778%
HISTORY92,87378%
HOME AND GARDEN TV92,60878%
IFC TV (Formerly INDEPENDENT FILM CHANNEL)71,03360%
INSP (Formerly THE INSPIRATIONAL NETWORK)83,09370%
INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY (Formerly DISCOVERY TIMES)86,32673%
LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK78,94867%
LIFETIME TELEVISION92,30578%
LOGO50,61843%
MAXPRIME20,83018%
MLB NETWORK67,11657%
MSNBC91,49077%
MTV (Formerly MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION)89,63776%
MTV CLASSIC (Formerly VH1 CLASSIC)55,69247%
MTV277,52065%
MULTIMAX21,23118%
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHNL90,86277%
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WILD58,60850%
NBA-TV54,36746%
NBC SPORTS NETWORK84,52071%
NBC UNIVERSO (Formerly MUN2 CABLE)44,67138%
NFL NETWORK70,89260%
NICK JR (Formerly NOGGIN)73,50262%
NICK-AT-NITE91,39277%
NICKELODEON91,39277%
NICKTOONS64,89155%
OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK (Formerly Discovery Health)80,39768%
OUTDOOR CHANNEL39,21933%
OVATION NETWORK47,66040%
OXYGEN MEDIA77,57566%
POP (Formerly TV GUIDE NETWORK)77,46265%
REELZCHANNEL67,66557%
RFD-TV43,63837%
SCIENCE (Formerly SCIENCE CHANNEL)71,98561%
SHOWTIME30,08125%
SHOWTIME PRIME29,72925%
SMITHSONIAN37,88032%
SPIKE TV86,90373%
SPORTSMAN CHANNEL32,80028%
SPROUT59,43950%
STARZ32,18527%
STARZ ENCORE (Formerly ENCORE)39,99234%
STARZ ENCORE PRIMARY (Formerly ENCORE PRIMARY)37,87732%
STARZ PRIMARY30,98126%
SUNDANCE TV (Formerly SUNDANCE CHANNEL)60,62051%
SYFY91,33377%
TBS NETWORK93,32779%
TEENNICK (Formerly THE N)70,92660%
THE CARTOON NETWORK92,69078%
THE WEATHER CHANNEL86,68373%
TLC91,79778%
TRAVEL CHANNEL87,01873%
TRU TV (Formerly COURT TV)88,73075%
TURNER NETWORK TELEVISION92,02478%
TV LAND89,25875%
TV ONE59,87851%
UNIVISION DEPORTES47,88740%
UP (Formerly GMC)70,84460%
USA NETWORK93,36579%
VELOCITY (Formerly HD THEATER)70,74260%
VH189,30675%
VICELAND68,44858%
WE TV (Formerly Womens Entertainment)86,31473%
WGN AMERICA (Formerly Superstation WGN)72,52561%

All data ©Nielsen (data provided by a variety of TV network sources and not directly from Nielsen)

This article has 2 Comments

  1. No need to wonder. CBSSN, Tennis, SEC Network, ESPN News, and several others are missing from above list because those networks don’t subscribe to Nielsen’s national ratings measurement service.

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