SPORTS MEDIA

Lead In Digital Sport Property ESPN Logs 25% Annual Growth

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August 28, 2019

ESPN digital’s output reached 86.8 million unique visitors in July, marking the eighth consecutive month the sports broadcaster has set record user-reach across its assets.

The Disney-owned sports media company, unique online visits were up by 25 per cent year on year over July 2018, cementing ESPN’s position as the pre-eminent digital sports property in the US.

Interviewed for Thomas Hauser’s biography of Muhammad Ali, His Life and Times, Lipsyte recalls being amongst several journalists of the day reporting on a young Ali, then known as Cassius Clay as he defeated Sonny Liston in February 1964, on a famous night in Miami Beach.

“There was a clear distinction between the younger reporters such as myself, who saw Cassius Clay as the story, and the older reporters who flocked around Liston,” Lipsyte explains, describing the scenes which also saw former boxing great Joe Louis join in the conversation.

The same scenario can be seen across so many aspects of the modern landscape, from the way we digest content, to the rise of social media and esports. There is always a tendency to fixate on something you remember at its inception, often at the risk of ignoring a better replacement.

ESPN’s digital reach is 63 per cent above CBS Sports, its closest rival for unique visits, expanding from a 56 per cent lead across every key demographic set in June. That figure includes yearly audience growth among users aged between 13 and 24 (63 per cent), total male users (48 per cent), and also total female users (22 per cent).

The ESPN App also remains the market leader in the US, attracting 19 million unique visitors in July – a yearly increase of 26 per cent. The platform has also seen 44 per cent increase in its consumed digital content, with that figure going up to 70 million hours. That mark is 25 million more than its closest rival, NBC’s Yahoo Sports app.

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