Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/09/13 at 12:51 PM ET
from Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily,
ESPN averaged 1.3 million viewers in primetime during Q2, down 32% from the same period last year and the lowest primetime audience for the net in at least seven years. The 32% drop was the biggest decline among cable sports networks. ESPN was no doubt hurt by a sharp drop for its NBA Playoff coverage. The net’s 17 postseason telecasts averaged 4.0 million viewers, down 36% from 6.2 million viewers last year. ESPN was the beneficiary of a seven-game Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals in ’12, whereas the net aired the Spurs sweep of the Grizzlies in the ’13 Western Conference Finals. Other cable sports nets seeing sharp Q2 drops in primetime viewership were ESPN2 (-12%) and NBA TV (-12%). Meanwhile, MLB Network saw a 20% primetime jump during Q2. The net averaged 232,000 viewers for its live games during the first half of the season, up 8% from the same period in ’12. NBC Sports Network also saw a 17% primetime jump, fueled by record-setting NHL postseason viewership, which also was up 17% from last season.
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