Following up on a story on ESPN’s global dominance, The Atlantic has published a series of charts that show why the sports network remains so expensive–and why men continue to pay for its premium.
The network’s internal research, which polls its subscribers (take from that what you will), finds viewers consistently tune into ESPN, which ranks among the top four broadcast networks: CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox. When narrowing down the demographics, ESPN says its surveys show it is the favorite TV destination for adult men, ranking higher than any broadcast or cable network from 1998 to 2012.
All this audience research helps the Disney-owned network (and Nate Silver’s new home) justify commanding more than any other channel in subscriber fees, charging pay-TV companies about $5 for each subscriber monthly. That amounts to $6.5 billion in revenue (a figure that doesn’t include advertising) from the nearly 100 million households with cable or satellite TV. Contrast that to CBS: In its recent high-profile fee dispute with Time Warner Cable, America’s most-watched network had complained about receiving less than $1 per subscriber per month.