ESPN Reports Banner Year for Digital Portfolio

This week, ESPN announced the year-end traffic results for its digital portfolio, including, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Mobile, Digital Audio, Fantasy, and Social Media.

“2011 was another terrific year for ESPN in digital media,” said John Kosner, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Digital and Print Media. “Our best available screen philosophy combined with innovation, technology and personalization have guided us to build and enhance terrific products and services that are forward thinking, easy to use and targeted to the sports fan. We have created a digital portfolio that not only serves the interests of these fans, but also adds value to affiliates, rights holders and advertisers.” led the sports category with an average minute audience of nearly 77,000 users on the site at any given minute across a month in 2011. It also led the category with 3.3 billion total minutes per month (up 10% over last year) and captured 32% of all minutes spent with sports sites online. Additionally, averaged 41.8 million unique visitors per month (up 8%), according to comScore

Specifically, the’s NBA section logged an average minute audience of 10,000 during the 2010-11 season (up 30% over last season), the NFL section logged 11,000 (up 8%), and the College Football section logged 15,000 (up 8%).

September was especially successful, as recorded a Sports category record 4.7 billion total minutes consumed and an average minute audience of 108,000 in September (up 18%). Additionally, reached a single-month record of 52.2 million unique visitors in September (up 27%)

In terms of Video, recorded nearly 1.9 billion videos watched in 2011 (Adobe/Omniture), more than 39% of all sports related video streams in 2011 (up 41%).

The five ESPN Local sites in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Dallas on average collectively reached 8.7 million unique visitors and generated 77.2 million minutes per month (comScore unified measurement, Sep 2010-Mar 2011). December marked the sites’ best month ever with 10.8 million unique visitors and 117.8 million total minutes.

In addition,, Bill Simmons spinoff Website launched in June, maintained a loyal audience of nearly 2.3 million unique visitors who generate 27 million minutes per month.

ESPN Insider grew its subscriber base to over 640,000 in 2011, up over 12% from year-end in 2010

WatchESPN, the networks’ multiplatform authenticated app, has been downloaded over 5.6 million times since being launched in April. The authentication service is now available on Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV and soon to Comcast Xfinity video subscribers.

The ESPN3 broadband network continues to grow, and is now accessible to approximately 70 million households nationwide and delivered 5,000 live events in 2011.

This year, more than 6.1 million unique viewers generated 11.6 million total hours consumed on ESPN3 during the 2011 regular college football season on computers, up 19% compared to the previous year (Adobe/Omniture). Additionally, non-BCS bowl games alone generated 103.2 million minutes consumed on ESPN3 online, bringing the total minutes per game up 36% compared to the 2010-11 season. Including BCS bowl games, all bowl games across all platforms generated 253.6 million minutes consumed, up 50% vs. last year. Additionally, total hours consumed for college basketball during the 2010-11 regular season on ESPN3 were up over 35%. It also averaged more than 1.1 million unique viewers per month during the regular season in 2011.

The 2010-2011 NBA regular season generated nearly 115 million minutes consumed (up 178%) on ESPN3 and the Playoffs delivered 1.2 million unique viewers and 110 million minutes consumed.

ESPN Mobile
The ESPN mobile Web site was the leading mobile Web sports site for the 5th year in a row, and is also the 8th most-trafficked site on the mobile Web overall in 2011. Each month, ESPN’s sites captured more than 17.6 million (69%) of users seeking sports on the mobile Web (Nielsen, Jan-Nov 2011).

Additionally, ESPN applications across all mobile devices generated an average of 2.2 million unique visitors per month in 2011 (Adobe/Omniture).

ESPN also sent 8.8 billion alerts, up%, to over 11 million active subscribers, up 204%.

Digital Audio averaged more than 1.7 million unique listeners that logged over 10 million total listening hours and 14.1 million session starts per month (Ando Media).

ESPN Fantasy
Total registered players for ESPN fantasy were up 12% in 2011. Unique users entering the ESPN Fantasy Football 2011 game were up 19% from the 2010 season.

ESPN Social Media
Additionally, ESPN’s fans on Facebook and Twitter grew to 23 million and 21 million, respectively in 2011 (up 130% and 133%). ESPN also drove 128.5 million views on YouTube throughout the year, up 125%.

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