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 name Estimated # of Homes (000) Coverage % August 2016 Estimate (000) Change Since Aug (000)
BEIN SPORT 24,149 21% 23,554 595
BEIN SPORT ESPANOL 18,256 16% 18,073 183
ESPN 89,856 77% 88,781 1,075
ESPN2 89,740 77% 88,651 1,089
ESPNU 71,548 61% 70,422 1,126
FOX DEPORTES 22,564 19% 22,359 205
FS1 85,931 74% 82,702 3,229
FS2 51,806 45% 51,443 363
GOLF CHANNEL 76,231 65% 75,096 1,135
MLB NETWORK 67,116 58% 66,105 1,011
NBA-TV 54,367 47% 53,746 621
NBC SPORTS NETWORK 84,520 73% 82,941 1,579
NFL NETWORK 70,892 61% 63,417 7,475
UNIVISION DEPORTES 47,887 41% 47,181 706
Total Cable 99,250 85% 97,796 1,454

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 name Estimated # of Homes (000) Coverage %
A&E NETWORK 92,210 78%
ADULT SWIM 92,690 78%
AMC 92,211 78%
AMERICAN HEROES CHANNEL (Formerly MILITARY CHANNEL) 57,287 48%
ANIMAL PLANET 90,976 77%
BABY FIRST TV 54,145 46%
BBC-AMERICA 77,808 66%
BEIN SPORT 24,149 20%
BEIN SPORT ESPANOL 18,256 15%
BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TV 85,524 72%
BOOMERANG 45,509 38%
BRAVO 88,855 75%
CENTRIC 52,286 44%
CHILLER 38,146 32%
CLOO (Formerly SLEUTH) 24,816 21%
CMT 79,772 67%
CNBC 90,222 76%
CNN (Formerly CABLE NEWS NETWORK) 93,340 79%
CNN / HLN 94,338 80%
COMEDY CENTRAL 91,122 77%
COOKING CHANNEL (Formerly FINE LIVING) 66,258 56%
DESTINATION AMERICA (Formerly PLANET GREEN) 56,136 47%
DISCOVERY CHANNEL 93,457 79%
DISCOVERY EN ESPANOL 6,176 5%
DISCOVERY FAMILIA 5,609 5%
DISCOVERY FAMILY CHANNEL (Formerly THE HUB) 65,811 56%
DISCOVERY LIFE CHANNEL (Formerly DISCOVERY FIT & HEALTH) 47,525 40%
DISNEY CHANNEL 93,251 79%
DISNEY JUNIOR 74,377 63%
DISNEY XD (Formerly TOON DISNEY) 77,857 66%
DIY NETWORK 61,619 52%
E! ENTERTAINMENT TV 91,505 77%
EL REY 45,297 38%
ESPN 89,856 76%
ESPN2 89,740 76%
ESPNU 71,548 60%
ESQUIRE NETWORK (Formerly STYLE) 67,134 57%
FM (formerly NUVO TV) 36,490 31%
FOOD NETWORK 94,498 80%
FOX BUSINESS NETWORK 85,504 72%
FOX DEPORTES 22,564 19%
FOX NEWS CHANNEL 91,692 77%
FOX SPORTS 1 (Formerly SPEED) 85,931 73%
FOX SPORTS 2 (Formerly FUEL) 51,806 44%
FREEFORM (Formerly ABC FAMILY) 91,009 77%
FUSE 67,011 57%
FX 91,652 77%
FX MOVIE CHANNEL 57,376 48%
FXX (Formerly FOX SOCCER CHANNEL) 81,976 69%
FYI (Formerly BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL) 68,082 58%
GALAVISION 67,902 57%
GOLF CHANNEL 76,231 64%
GREAT AMERICAN COUNTRY 58,965 50%
GSN 78,854 67%
HALLMARK CHANNEL 89,935 76%
HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES (Formerly HALLMARK MOVIE CHANNEL) 67,633 57%
HBO – THE WORKS 36,086 30%
HBO PRIME 35,534 30%
HEADLINE NEWS 92,427 78%
HISTORY 92,873 78%
HOME AND GARDEN TV 92,608 78%
IFC TV (Formerly INDEPENDENT FILM CHANNEL) 71,033 60%
INSP (Formerly THE INSPIRATIONAL NETWORK) 83,093 70%
INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY (Formerly DISCOVERY TIMES) 86,326 73%
LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK 78,948 67%
LIFETIME TELEVISION 92,305 78%
LOGO 50,618 43%
MAXPRIME 20,830 18%
MLB NETWORK 67,116 57%
MSNBC 91,490 77%
MTV (Formerly MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION) 89,637 76%
MTV CLASSIC (Formerly VH1 CLASSIC) 55,692 47%
MTV2 77,520 65%
MULTIMAX 21,231 18%
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHNL 90,862 77%
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WILD 58,608 50%
NBA-TV 54,367 46%
NBC SPORTS NETWORK 84,520 71%
NBC UNIVERSO (Formerly MUN2 CABLE) 44,671 38%
NFL NETWORK 70,892 60%
NICK JR (Formerly NOGGIN) 73,502 62%
NICK-AT-NITE 91,392 77%
NICKELODEON 91,392 77%
NICKTOONS 64,891 55%
OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK (Formerly Discovery Health) 80,397 68%
OUTDOOR CHANNEL 39,219 33%
OVATION NETWORK 47,660 40%
OXYGEN MEDIA 77,575 66%
POP (Formerly TV GUIDE NETWORK) 77,462 65%
REELZCHANNEL 67,665 57%
RFD-TV 43,638 37%
SCIENCE (Formerly SCIENCE CHANNEL) 71,985 61%
SHOWTIME 30,081 25%
SHOWTIME PRIME 29,729 25%
SMITHSONIAN 37,880 32%
SPIKE TV 86,903 73%
SPORTSMAN CHANNEL 32,800 28%
SPROUT 59,439 50%
STARZ 32,185 27%
STARZ ENCORE (Formerly ENCORE) 39,992 34%
STARZ ENCORE PRIMARY (Formerly ENCORE PRIMARY) 37,877 32%
STARZ PRIMARY 30,981 26%
SUNDANCE TV (Formerly SUNDANCE CHANNEL) 60,620 51%
SYFY 91,333 77%
TBS NETWORK 93,327 79%
TEENNICK (Formerly THE N) 70,926 60%
THE CARTOON NETWORK 92,690 78%
THE WEATHER CHANNEL 86,683 73%
TLC 91,797 78%
TRAVEL CHANNEL 87,018 73%
TRU TV (Formerly COURT TV) 88,730 75%
TURNER NETWORK TELEVISION 92,024 78%
TV LAND 89,258 75%
TV ONE 59,878 51%
UNIVISION DEPORTES 47,887 40%
UP (Formerly GMC) 70,844 60%
USA NETWORK 93,365 79%
VELOCITY (Formerly HD THEATER) 70,742 60%
VH1 89,306 75%
VICELAND 68,448 58%
WE TV (Formerly Womens Entertainment) 86,314 73%
WGN AMERICA (Formerly Superstation WGN) 72,525 61%

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.

Leave a Reply to Sports TV Ratings Cancel reply