There’s no getting around the fact that ESPN is huge and it does in fact do a lot of things well. Even as Al Michaels was calling the people who yell on many shows that ESPN airs “gasbags”, I found myself getting ready to punch the channel numbers into my remote. Mike Tirico at one point last night even tried to use the whole “you can change the channel, we’re not the only game in town” line. The problem with that line is that it’s completely false. They ARE pretty much the only game in town and I think these number prove that. ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN News all had their best April ever….

ESPN averaged 746,000 homes on a 24-hour basis, up 21 percent from April 2007 (617,000) and the most ever for the month. The network was boosted by larger audiences for the NBA playoffs, Major League Baseball and SportsCenter, as well as the addition of The Masters, which provided cable’s most-watched golf telecast in history.

ESPN2 averaged 255,000 homes, its best ever for April and up nine percent from last year (233,000). The network also set marks in Men 18-49 and 25-54. The live weekday morning lineup – ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning (6 – 10 a.m. ET) and FirstTake (10 a.m. – noon) – continues to grow its audience. That six-hour block averaged 201,000 homes, up 41 percent from April a year ago (143,000)

In April, ESPNEWS averaged a record 62,000 homes, up 11 percent from a year ago (56,000). It was the 24th consecutive month of household growth for ESPNEWS. The network debuted in high definition March 30 with a new set, graphics and music.

A 750K average over a full day is a ridiculous number for a cable channel and especially one that isn’t News based (well non-Sports News I mean). I guess if it isn’t broke then they won’t be doing any fixing anytime soon.


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