The lack of live sports has severely impacted sports networks, and a Bloomberg story from Christopher Palmeri gives us some quantitative data on what that’s meant for ESPN in particular. Palmeri’s piece is a larger look at what networks have gained and lost viewers in the week ending April 12th, which has CNN up 170 percent year over year and Lifetime, Fox News, BET and TLC are up 68, 45, 42, and 38 percent respectively, plus ESPN down 62 per cent and Disney, Investigation Discovery and USA down 37, 29, and 28 percent respectively. And it includes this overall discussion of ESPN versus news programming:
However, the pandemic is also changing the types of programs people watch. With live sports shut down, Disney’s ESPN has seen its prime-time audience tumble some 60%.
Cable news has scored huge gains, led by CNN’s more than doubling of viewers. Fox News programs accounted for all of the 35 most-watched prime-time shows on cable TV in the week ended April 13.
Read more at: