How much bigger is ESPN than FS1? – August 2017 Cable Coverage Estimates

 

Nielsen typically updates its universe estimates in late August/early September for the coming TV season, so I wanted to post the last set of cable coverage estimates under the current estimates. I plan on posting the first set of #s under the new universe estimates in late August or early September.

**DO THESE NUMBERS INCLUDE STREAMING SERVICES LIKE SlingTV, Vue and DirecTV Now?**

In the past that was a simple question to answer. The answer was “no.” Some people didn’t like it but it was simple! December was the last month that was the case though.

Starting with the January estimates the answer changed to “Yes….kind of.”

I applaud Nielsen for  plowing ahead though I don’t know that I’d have gone ahead and started  when I only had 6 (January estimates) or 21 (February estimates) or 37 (March estimates) households, or even the 91 (August estimates) that I could sample. By comparison the national TV panel has around 40,000 homes in it with around 100,000 participants.

**Nielsen plans to grow the alternate MPVD services (streaming services like SlingTV, Vue, DirecTV Now) participation rapidly over the coming months.** 

**CHANGES SINCE LAST UPDATE**

The biggest one is the inclusion of Big Ten Network as a measured network. Nielsen also has begun segmenting  “Total Cable Plus” (basically how big is the Pay TV Universe is). There are now versions with and without the MPVDs (Sling, Vue, DirecTV Now, etc).

**Some Tricky Comparisons**

The comparisons in the “Cable Sports Networks” vs March is only based on the fact that’s the last time I saw the full data and made these tables. You might see “But I heard ESPN was up in August!” ESPN was up in August versus the July estimates (87,217 million households in August vs 86,959 million households in July), but ESPN is still down vs. March.

I always liked the Cable Plus metric, but that’s now way more confusing. If you compare to the version without MPVDs ESPNs declines are lower than overall declines for pay cable since March, but if you compare them to the loaded w/MPVDs number…small sample size with lack of apples-to-apples (Nielsen didn’t have that metric in its March estimates), but in the case of ESPN it doesn’t look like MVPDs are making up for all of its wired losses.

Two tables below: first  the August estimates for the cable sports networks (stick to sports!) and those sports networks’ change versus the March estimates.

The second table is the coverage estimates for all nationally measured cable networks.

 

Nielsen cable (includes satellite & telco services) coverage estimates for the nationally measured cable sports networks for August 2017:

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

Network nameMarch 2017 Estimate (000)August 2017 Estimate (000)Change Since March (000)
BEIN SPORT22,67922,626-53
BEIN SPORT ESPANOL18,31918,660341
BIG TEN NETWORKN/A57,595N/A
ESPN87,43787,217-220
ESPN287,34987,088-261
ESPNU68,57466,083-2491
FOX DEPORTES21,28221,31836
FS184,15984,421262
FS250,16452,1702006
GOLF CHANNEL75,67874,904-774
MLB NETWORK64,01461,384-2630
NBA-TV50,83848,651-2187
NBC SPORTS NETWORK83,79084,439649
NFL NETWORK70,95469,475-1479
THE TENNIS CHANNEL52,15055,0112861
UNIVISION DEPORTES46,59545,370-1225
Total Cable96,99296,108-884
Total Cable w/MVPDsN/A97,538N/A
Nielsen cable coverage estimates via friends at networks and not directly from Nielsen via @SportsTVRatings

Nielsen cable (includes satellite & telco services) coverage estimates for ALL nationally measured cable networks for August 2017:

Network nameAugust 2017 Estimated # of Homes (000)Coverage %
A&E NETWORK90,49676%
ADULT SWIM91,05077%
AMC91,02077%
AMERICAN HEROES CHANNEL (Formerly MILITARY CHANNEL)52,86245%
ANIMAL PLANET88,77075%
BABY FIRST TV56,03947%
BBC-AMERICA80,96068%
BEIN SPORT22,62619%
BEIN SPORT ESPANOL18,66016%
BIG TEN NETWORK57,59549%
BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TV83,68071%
BOOMERANG40,69734%
BRAVO87,41374%
CENTRIC49,22742%
CHILLER27,12323%
CINE LATINO5,4905%
CMT74,30563%
CNBC87,88774%
CNN (Formerly CABLE NEWS NETWORK)91,99378%
CNN / HLN92,99179%
COMEDY CENTRAL89,43176%
COOKING CHANNEL (Formerly FINE LIVING)63,39154%
DESTINATION AMERICA (Formerly PLANET GREEN)50,36543%
DISCOVERY CHANNEL91,21177%
DISCOVERY EN ESPANOL5,9645%
DISCOVERY FAMILIA5,6565%
DISCOVERY FAMILY CHANNEL (Formerly THE HUB)59,03350%
DISCOVERY LIFE CHANNEL (Formerly DISCOVERY FIT & HEALTH)47,37140%
DISNEY CHANNEL91,20977%
DISNEY JUNIOR71,47960%
DISNEY XD (Formerly TOON DISNEY)73,61662%
DIY NETWORK57,42348%
E! ENTERTAINMENT TV89,77676%
EL REY44,23237%
ESPN87,21774%
ESPN287,08874%
ESPNU66,80356%
FM (formerly NUVO TV)39,72034%
FOOD NETWORK93,25579%
FOX BUSINESS NETWORK85,10472%
FOX DEPORTES21,31818%
FOX NEWS CHANNEL89,26975%
FOX SPORTS 184,42171%
FOX SPORTS 252,17044%
FREEFORM (Formerly ABC FAMILY)89,26575%
FUSE62,90353%
FX90,40576%
FX MOVIE CHANNEL56,05847%
FXX (Formerly FOX SOCCER CHANNEL)85,28572%
FYI (Formerly BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL)58,66450%
GALAVISION67,87957%
GOLF CHANNEL74,90463%
GREAT AMERICAN COUNTRY54,84746%
GSN73,44062%
HALLMARK CHANNEL88,38375%
HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES (Formerly HALLMARK MOVIE CHANNEL)67,23157%
HBO - THE WORKS35,10030%
HBO PRIME34,54929%
HEADLINE NEWS90,76077%
HISTORY91,17577%
HOME AND GARDEN TV91,29477%
IFC TV (Formerly INDEPENDENT FILM CHANNEL)75,84764%
INSP (Formerly THE INSPIRATIONAL NETWORK)81,49069%
INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY (Formerly DISCOVERY TIMES)84,90672%
LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK73,25662%
LIFETIME TELEVISION90,45676%
LOGO47,51340%
MAXPRIME20,79318%
MLB NETWORK61,38452%
MSNBC89,38875%
MTV (Formerly MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION)86,92773%
MTV274,48163%
MTV CLASSIC (Formerly VH1 CLASSIC)50,53943%
MULTIMAX21,09218%
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (Formerly NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHNL)89,47376%
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WILD58,75050%
NBA-TV48,65141%
NBC SPORTS NETWORK84,43971%
NFL NETWORK69,47559%
NICK JR (Formerly NOGGIN)71,56460%
NICK-AT-NITE88,65075%
NICKELODEON88,65075%
NICKTOONS61,78352%
OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK (Formerly Discovery Health)77,12665%
OUTDOOR CHANNEL37,33732%
OVATION NETWORK46,89140%
OXYGEN MEDIA74,94963%
POP (Formerly TV GUIDE NETWORK)70,76760%
REELZCHANNEL63,01453%
RFD-TV47,20940%
SCIENCE (Formerly SCIENCE CHANNEL)66,08856%
SHOWTIME28,36624%
SHOWTIME PRIME28,11024%
SMITHSONIAN36,16131%
SPIKE TV82,75270%
SPORTSMAN CHANNEL30,09225%
SPROUT57,78249%
STARZ29,72925%
STARZ ENCORE (Formerly ENCORE)36,83631%
STARZ ENCORE PRIMARY (Formerly ENCORE PRIMARY)34,75629%
STARZ PRIMARY28,86124%
SUNDANCE TV (Formerly SUNDANCE CHANNEL)71,34560%
SYFY89,94076%
TBS NETWORK91,89478%
TEENNICK (Formerly THE N)67,17357%
THE CARTOON NETWORK91,05077%
THE TENNIS CHANNEL55,01146%
THE WEATHER CHANNEL82,64470%
TLC89,76076%
TRAVEL CHANNEL83,90971%
TRU TV (Formerly COURT TV)87,22274%
TURNER NETWORK TELEVISION90,88177%
TV LAND87,21574%
TV LAND CLASSIC87,21574%
TV ONE59,54350%
UNIVERSO (Formerly NBC UNIVERSO)41,29835%
UNIVISION DEPORTES45,37038%
UP (Formerly GMC)66,90357%
USA NETWORK91,89878%
VELOCITY (Formerly HD THEATER)73,20062%
VH187,45974%
VICELAND69,56059%
WE TV (Formerly Womens Entertainment)86,85273%
WGN AMERICA (Formerly Superstation WGN)78,67866%
Z LIVING20,02617%

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

 

This article has 1 Comment

  1. ESPN used to have over 100,000,000 subscribers – then management decided to promote its politics – the result is a steady decline that never ends. I’m sure the shareholders are real pleased that Disney is bleeding money, because those who run ESPN want to promote Democrat politics – would Ford refuse to sell cars to Republicans? It’s the same thing – this is the type of attitude that destroys companies – pigheaded foolishness, as the company sinks lower and lower. How long before Disney gets tagged as well? How about the theme parks losing 22% of their customers? Time to short Disney stock!

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