ESPN Posts Total Audience Viewing Gains From Live Video Streaming/OOH

While there continues to be concern over measuring live video streaming for traditional TV networks, ESPN says it is seeing early positive results from Nielsen’s new Total Live Audience metric.

From September 25 though November 12, 2017, ESPN says live video streaming and out-of-home viewing (OOH) has added 14% more audience overall to ESPN’s traditional TV viewing totals, across both total day and prime time.

Among the adult 25-54 demographic, Nielsen C3 ratings -- the average commercial minute rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing -- witnessed an 18% gain for ESPN by including live streaming and out-of-home viewing.

Millennial viewers 18-34 were up 23% in total day viewing and 28% in prime time.

When looking at year-over-year results, adding in these live streaming/OOH results now means millennial viewers have been boosted 4% for total day and 13% more in primetime over the same period a year before.



ESPN also says millennials drive 46% of all ESPN streaming. Females make up 34% of all millennial OOH viewing. Millennial females increased by more than 12% when including OOH viewing.

ESPN says streaming of ESPN programming on ABC broadcasts is not currently included in Nielsen Total Live Audience.

In the third quarter, ESPN was in fifth place among all cable TV networks in prime time, averaging 1.4 million overall TV viewers. As with other cable TV networks, ESPN has seen a decline in its overall subscribers, and now sits at 87 million subscribers, according to one estimate.

For some time now, media researchers -- TV networks and media agencies -- have been concerned that Nielsen’s overall Total Audience system is problematic.

For example, TV/media companies need to install so-called Software Development Kits (SDKs) across a wide variety of TV-video platforms -- mobile apps, video-on-demand platforms and other areas. But the process and rollout of these efforts varies by TV network.

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