ESPN claims biggest ever month with return of US sports

Sports broadcaster ESPN has seen interest in its content soar in the past month in Australia, heralding its biggest months ever for its TV and online platform.

Lance Peatey:

Lance Peatey: ‘October has been extraordinary’

Highlights of the past month for the broadcaster include its biggest ever baseball audience for Game 4 of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, with an average metro audience of 48,500.

Its localised online platform which launched on March 1 also saw a surge of users with a 35% uptake, with more than 105m page views across its broader network for the month.

Talking about the digital numbers, director of digital Lance Peatey, told Mumbrella: “February and October are the two quietest months for sports sites, but our October has been extraordinary.

“While most others petered off, ours kept surging because as soon as the AFL and NRL finished the NFL kicked off for us, which was great.”

While the NRL and AFL finals at the start of the month provided a strong lead-in, Peatey said the World Series baseball, start of the NBA season and the NFL season hitting its straps had piqued interest locally.

espnW logo

He also pointed to the site’s coverage of the AFL draft as drawing much larger numbers than they had anticipated.

Globally, ESPN celebrated its biggest ever month on its digital properties in September and hit 128m users around the world.

Peatey said the female-focused sports site ESPN W was also building since launch on September 1.

He explained: “ESPN W we thought it might have been a slow burn but it’s moved really quickly to get to where it has, and we’re enthused by the take-up.

“We’re really encouraged by these numbers and the fact we can hit over 200,000 women on our database every week with a targeted newsletter. It diversifies our conversations in market, that’s for sure.”

Peatey said the start of the international cricket season in Australia today, with the first test match against South Africa, would see a surge in visits to its Cricinfo site, which turns 24 next year.

He said that model would be more closely replicated by bringing together the popular Footy Tips platform and the other web properties, dragging more data into help feed its coverage.


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