ESPN2 net hits 60 mil mark

Fastest ascent ever in cable

ESPN2 has vaulted over the 60 million-subscriber mark faster than any other cable network in history.

Quoting Nielsen’s September 1998 cable universe estimates, ESPN2 has hit 60.4 million in just under five years. TNT held the previous record, crossing the 60 million line within 63 months. In third and fourth place are the Learning Channel, which hit 60 million in 72 months, and CNBC, which took 91 months to hit the mark.

ESPN2 benefited from one big advantage over its three rivals when the government passed a law called”retransmission consent.” The law allowed a broadcast network to extract a quid pro quo from a cable operator; the network, in return, let the cable system carry the local TV station owned by the network or affiliated with it.

Since ABC is a sister company of ESPN2 (both of them owned by Walt Disney), ESPN2 became the quid pro quo in ABC’s negotiations with cable systems to permit them to retransmit the ABC station signals.

More TV

  • Streaming Subscribers Overtake Pay-TV Customers for

    Streaming Subscribers Overtake Pay-TV Customers for First Time in the U.K.

    ESPN2 has vaulted over the 60 million-subscriber mark faster than any other cable network in history. Quoting Nielsen’s September 1998 cable universe estimates, ESPN2 has hit 60.4 million in just under five years. TNT held the previous record, crossing the 60 million line within 63 months. In third and fourth place are the Learning Channel, […]

  • The Fast and the Furious

    TV News Roundup: Paramount Network Sets Paul Walker Documentary Premiere Date

    ESPN2 has vaulted over the 60 million-subscriber mark faster than any other cable network in history. Quoting Nielsen’s September 1998 cable universe estimates, ESPN2 has hit 60.4 million in just under five years. TNT held the previous record, crossing the 60 million line within 63 months. In third and fourth place are the Learning Channel, […]

  • Elena Kampouris Sacred Lies Facebook Watch

    TV Review: 'Sacred Lies' on Facebook Watch

    ESPN2 has vaulted over the 60 million-subscriber mark faster than any other cable network in history. Quoting Nielsen’s September 1998 cable universe estimates, ESPN2 has hit 60.4 million in just under five years. TNT held the previous record, crossing the 60 million line within 63 months. In third and fourth place are the Learning Channel, […]

  • 2018 FIFA World Cup

    World Cup Final U.S. Ratings Fall From 2014

    ESPN2 has vaulted over the 60 million-subscriber mark faster than any other cable network in history. Quoting Nielsen’s September 1998 cable universe estimates, ESPN2 has hit 60.4 million in just under five years. TNT held the previous record, crossing the 60 million line within 63 months. In third and fourth place are the Learning Channel, […]

  • Tales From The Loop

    Amazon Orders Sci-Fi Series 'Tales From the Loop'

    ESPN2 has vaulted over the 60 million-subscriber mark faster than any other cable network in history. Quoting Nielsen’s September 1998 cable universe estimates, ESPN2 has hit 60.4 million in just under five years. TNT held the previous record, crossing the 60 million line within 63 months. In third and fourth place are the Learning Channel, […]

  • La Catedral del Mar - Diagonal

    Netflix Agrees With Atresmedia Preferential Access to Spanish TV Dramas

    ESPN2 has vaulted over the 60 million-subscriber mark faster than any other cable network in history. Quoting Nielsen’s September 1998 cable universe estimates, ESPN2 has hit 60.4 million in just under five years. TNT held the previous record, crossing the 60 million line within 63 months. In third and fourth place are the Learning Channel, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content