An inside look at ESPN’s growth across multiple platforms

By Natan Edelsburg 

ESPN_Logo_CLR_PosDespite increased TV competition, ESPN continues to show massive growth across multiple platforms. In September it saw its largest monthly unique reach ever: 72.7 million unique visitors across desktop, mobile and tablets, according to comScore Multi-Platform data.

comScore’s Multi-Platform report shows that ESPN had a 30.4% share of the sports category audience. ESPN’s rapid digital growth does not appear to be slowing down. This is likely due in part to its immovable place in the social TV conversation. ESPN networks and ABC sports TV content generated 15.0 million tweets in September, 20% of all TV-related activity during the month. By itself, ESPN was the No. 5 most-social TV network, with 1.9 million unique users sending 6.9 million tweets about ESPN content.

Other impressive social numbers from the month of September:

• Users watched 326.4 million digital video clips on ESPN platforms in September, a record-high number of monthly starts. 77% of clips were viewed on computers, 16% on mobile devices and 6% on connected TVs.

• Viewers spent 650 million minutes with WatchESPN and ESPN3 live and on-demand programming across all platforms, up 21% from last September.

• ESPN had 24.5 million unique fans across all of ESPN’s Facebook pages in September, and counted 25.2 million unique followers across all Twitter accounts.

• 30.6 million people were reached by ESPN page content on Facebook; 27.0 million by SportsCenter page content.

• 2.3 million people engaged with the ESPN Facebook page (liked a post, shared a story, left a comment), and 2.6 million engaged with the SportsCenter page.

• ESPN’s Twitter accounts were retweeted or favorited 5.1 million times during the month, the highest monthly amount to-date in 2013.

• ESPN video content on YouTube received 29.9 million views in September, up 35% from a year ago.

ESPN also recently signed a major partnership to join Aol’s massive library of content which includes the Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, the Associated Press, and hundreds of other providers.