Football Propels ESPN Again


Another fall week, another win for ESPN in primetime.

The total sports network’s coverage of pro and college football tackled household laurels of a 2.8 from Oct. 27-Nov. 2, well ahead of the 1.9 averages recorded by Nickelodeon and Turner Network Television, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

ESPN also swept the key adult demo, drawing 755,000 adults 18-34 on average, 1.74 million adults 18-49 and 1.76 million adults 25-54, according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen data.

Disney Channel was fourth in households with a 1.7, while Lifetime Television ranked fifth with a 1.6.

USA Network and TBS Superstation were knotted in sixth, each with a 1.5. Rounding out the top 10: Cartoon Network with a 1.4, Fox News Channel at a 1.2 and MTV: Music Television with a 1.1.

Spike TV -- boosted by its presentation of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. fare and the two-hour finale of reality parody The Joe Schmo Show Oct. 28 -- The Learning Channel and Sci Fi Channel all registered a 1.0 to narrowly finish out of the money.

Gauged on a total-day basis, perennial leader Nick was in its usual perch with a 1.5, holding a 0.3-point edge over Disney and TNT. Lifetime, ESPN and Cartoon were next, all with a 1.1.

ESPN’s coverage of the Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers National Football League contest Nov. 2 was the highest-rated show of the week with a 9.1 average. That topped the 4.2 posted by the college contest between Miami and Virginia Tech the night before.