ESPN’s XP Project Research Shows Radio and Out-of-Home Viewing Extend Network’s Reach

Today at the ARF Audience Measurement 6.0 Conference ESPN and Arbitron presented key findings from a proprietary research study for ESPN which utilized Arbitron’s Portable People Meter ratings service.

As part of the ESPN XP research initiative, ESPN worked with Arbitron in November 2010 to measure consumption of ESPN Radio affiliates and football content on ESPN TV networks, both in home and out of home.

This study demonstrated that radio listening and out-of-home TV viewing increased ESPN’s reach by 15.5 million persons, or 23 percent, over in-home TV viewing. The increase in time spent with the content was even greater, a lift of 9.1 billion minutes, or 40 percent, over the average in-home TV audience.

ESPN’s net audience for TV and radio, measured by Arbitron’s PPM panel, was 99.4 million persons aged 6+. Of those, 22 percent were multiplatform users who both listened to sports programs on radio and watched football programs on TV and 47 percent were multi-location users who consumed ESPN content both in home and out of home.

Multiplatform Users
Multiplatform users were heavier users of ESPN content, averaging 12 hours 28 minutes in the month, nearly three times the amount of single-platform users. These multiplatform users spent more time with TV than the TV only viewers (7:57 vs. 4:37) and also spent more time with radio than the radio only listeners (4:31 vs. 1:41). While they were just 22% of users, multiplatform users accounted for 43% of the usage of measured ESPN content.

Multi-location Users
The users who consumed ESPN content both in-home and out-of-home were also heavier users of ESPN content, averaging 9 hours 44 minutes of usage, compared to 2 hours 59 minutes for single-location users. These multi-location users spent more time consuming content in home than the in-home only users (7:11 vs. 3:51) and also spent more time consuming content out-of-home than the out-of-home only users (2:33 vs. 0:44).
Multi-location users were 47% of all content users but accounted for 74% of the total minutes consumed.

“This study reinforces our principles of the greater engagement of multi-platform audiences and the value of out-of-home consumption for sports content,” said Glenn Enoch, vice president of integrated media research at ESPN. “Fans are choosing the best available media platform, and this leads to increased reach and consumption of ESPN content.”