ESPN/ABC Dominates Sports Ratings


The Walt Disney Co. dominated the sports-TV realm in 2001, with ESPN, ESPN2
and ABC Sports accounting for a combined 43 percent of the gross rating points
generated by the category, according to an ESPN analysis of Nielsen Media
Research data released Thursday.

Sports GRPs last year totaled nearly 1.1 million.

ESPN alone represented 23 percent of sports viewing in 2001, well ahead of
runner-up CBS (15.5 percent).

Among the other 'Big Four' broadcast networks, Fox accounted for 14.7 percent
of sports viewing and NBC just over 11 percent.

The three Disney-owned networks were even stronger among men 18 through 34,
accounting for 50 percent of GRPs within that demographic, according to the
analysis. ESPN was the leader within that demo, too, at 32 percent.

Elsewhere on the chart, Viacom Inc.'s CBS Sports and TNN: The National
Network represented 17.8 percent of total sports GRPs.

AOL Time Warner Inc.'s Turner Network Television and TBS Superstation amassed
a combined 6.4 percent of sports viewing.

Miscellaneous other networks tallied a combined 5.3 percent of sports rating