ESPN’s dedication to TV anywhere and the second screen continues to pay dividends

By Natan Edelsburg 

ESPN_Logo_CLR_PosWhen we reported on ESPN’s multi-platform growth in September, the company had just seen its largest monthly unique reach ever: 72.7 million unique visitors across desktop, mobile and tablets, according to comScore Multi-Platform data. While the number dropped in November, ESPN had a 35% share of the sports category, a 20% lift compared to September.

Perhaps most impressive – and enlightening – is that for the third consecutive month more unique people accessed ESPN content on mobile devices (47.3 million) than on computers (39.5 million). ESPN was a pioneer in the second screen space, with ESPN3 (formerly launching in 2005. ESPN fans still watch most video content on their computers, but the mix is certainly beginning so shift and the network’s commitment to TV-anywhere and second screen is continuing to pay dividends: In November, fans watched 345.3 million digital video clips across ESPN platforms – 900,000 video starts behind October’s record total. 75% of clips were viewed on computers, 17% on mobile devices and 6% on connected TVs.

Other impressive social numbers from the month of November:

• Viewers spent 711 million minutes with WatchESPN and ESPN3 live and on-demand programming across all platforms, up 91% from last November.

ESPN networks and ABC sports television content generated 14.2 million tweets in November, 17% of all TV-related activity during the month. ESPN was the fifth most-social TV network, with 1.96 million unique users sending 7.7 million tweets about ESPN content. ESPN2 was the sixth most-social network with 2.1 million tweets from 856,000 unique authors.

• ESPN counted 26.5 million unique followers across all ESPN Twitter accounts in November.

• ESPN’s Twitter accounts were retweeted or favorited 7.1 million times during the month, the highest monthly number to date in 2013.

• 20.2 million people were reached by ESPN page content on Facebook; 18.6 million by SportsCenter page content.

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

• ESPN videos were viewed 39.2 million times on YouTube, up 66% from a year ago.