Media Buyers to Put More Money Into ESPN in '08

January 09, 2008
By Anthony Crupi

A new Beta Research survey suggests that media buyers and their clients will dedicate more dollars to the top-tier cable networks than ever before, with ESPN looking to be a particularly attractive target environment in 2008.

According to the study, which was released Wednesday morning, 43 percent of those surveyed reported that they intended to increase their ad spend on ESPN this year, a figure that jibes with the sports net’s recent revenue statements. (In November, ESPN parent Walt Disney Co. said that the network’s fourth quarter ad sales grew 30 percent versus the year-ago period.)

As the Beta study was conducted in Sept. and Oct. 2007, well before the writers strike began, that projected financial commitment to ESPN could grow even faster this year, as sports-related programming may well prove to be the only prime time fare to reliably deliver large concentrations of male demos.

Meanwhile, spinoff net ESPN2 got the nod from 33 percent of the participants.