ESPN reached a milestone in February: It’s U.S. household distribution topped 100 million and it’s available in 99.9 million homes. (Expect another press release when that number reaches triple digits as well.
ESPN debuted in 10 million homes in 1979. By comparison, the Oprah Winfrey Network – touted as the largest cable television launch in history – is available in 80 million houses.
Considering the Worldwide Leader is raking in the cash – charging $4.08 per subscriber in 2009 – it’s no wonder they can pay such exorbitant rights fees.
The full release is after the jumpESPN has broken the triple-digit barrier for U.S. household distribution, as the network is officially seen in 100,002,000 homes as of February 2011. ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, in 1.4 million homes and reached its 50th state (Hawaii) in December 1984.
ESPN2 is also knocking on the 100 million door, with 99.9 million homes, up from 99.7 in January. Its growth, after debuting in 10 million homes in October 1993, set cable industry records. Beyond U.S. shores, ESPN International reaches 350 million additional homes in over 200 countries and territories on all seven continents via 46 television in 16 languages.