ESPN maintains spot as top US digital sports property

US digital sports property
ESPN Digital continues to see big growth

ESPN Digital saw its hold as the top US digital sports property tighten in July, reaching nearly 86.8 million unique users during the month, a 25% increase from a year ago. The sports broadcaster had 63% more uniques than No. 2 CBS Sports (53.4 million) during the month.

It also was the eighth-straight record-setting month in terms of reach for the digital sports property, which is owned by Disney. In June, it drew more than 91 million unique viewers, 56% more than CBS Sports.

ESPN Digital ranked as No. 1 across every key metric, as well as all key demographics, fueled by audience expansion among younger and female fans. This includes persons 13-24 (up 63% year-over-year) all females (+22% Y/Y), and men 13-24 (+48% Y/Y).

The ESPN app ranked No. 1 among sports apps in the US, attracting 19.0 million unique visitors – double that of the next closest competitor and up 26% from a year ago. Its 1.5 billion minutes of viewing was a 44% increase over a year ago.

ESPN Digital was No. 1 in total minutes consumed with 4.2 billion, which was 1.5 billion more than No. 2 Yahoo! NBC Sports (2.7 billion).

Top US digital sports property – again

In June, ESPN Digital’s 91 million uniques was 21% more than it had a year earlier, and 32.8 million more than CBS Sports had during the month.

It also ranked as the No. 1 U.S. digital sports property across every key metric, as well as all key demographics, fueled by audience expansion among younger and female fans. This includes persons 13-24 (+50% Y/Y), all females (+24%), and men 13-24 (+58%).

The ESPN app was the top sports app in the U.S., attracting 20.5 million unique visitors – its second-largest audience ever – and 1.8 billion minutes, up +26% and +48%, respectively.

The bottom line

Sports remains a perfect match for the streaming video industry, especially for mobile consumers.

As next-gen 5G wireless service deployments accelerate over the next few years – and with them increases in bandwidth and speed and decreases in latency – live sports becomes one of the true killer apps for mobile video.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

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