By Tom LeggettPosted on 13 December 2017 15:33:23Fans of the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Bengals will have their eyes fixed on the Cincinnati Sky Channel this week as it takes on ESPN3, Fox Sports Ohio and WTSP-AM.
But which station will win the battle of the local sports networks?
Read moreIt seems a bit of a long shot.
According to the latest Nielsen ratings from the third quarter of 2017, the Cincinnati Sky is down 5% in total viewership and 10% in adults 18-49.
The Cincinnati Sun is up 6% and 9% respectively.
The biggest gainers are The Cincinnati Sports Network (CFSN), up 13% in viewers and 18% in households.
The station is also up in the sports ratings with the CFSN up 11% in the demo and up 8% in people 18-34.
The station has also increased its weekday ratings from 0.7 in the 3Q17 to 2.2 in the third quarters of 2018.
For sports fans looking to catch up on the biggest sporting events around the country, CFSn has the Cincinnati Bengals as its main competition in prime time, while ESPN3 has the Pittsburgh Pirates and WTSP-FM as the other two.
Cleveland’s Fox Sports Ohio is the next closest station in the market.
The Bengals are ranked No.1 in the key demo in the US and No.3 in the country according to Nielsen.
ESPN and WTST-AM are both ranked No.2.
It seems the Cincinnati Sky Channel is in a battle with the ESPN 3 station.
On the one hand, ESPN has won the battle for viewers and wins prime time by a large margin, according to Nielsen, so it has the edge in the ratings battle.
However, it is losing viewers as well as the primetime ratings battle, because ESPN is losing the sports crossover battle. What does ESPN do to make its local sports coverage more appealing?
The network has repeatedly announced new teams and rebranded teammates.
Last week, a new ESPN SportsCenter weeknight show launched at 8pm ET, which also was the first new sports show to launch in a major market in 17 years.
This week, a new sports series was announced in Cincy with ESPN’s Mike & Mike and FOX Sports Ohio’s Bryan Curtis and Matt Serra.
In the second quarter of 2017, Fox sports analyst Curtis had a tweet featuring Fox sports radio host Mike Hearn, who called Fox’s Sunday show on Tuesday night the best local sports show in America.
A New ESPN.com poll revealed the network as the #1 local sports station in the country.
Fox was the top sports network in the US last year in terms of sports programming among all sports stations. “In 2020 and beyond, we will have new partners and new programs to celebrate the unbeatable local sports and sports culture of Cincinnatti,” ESPN senior VP of programming Brian Grazer said in a statement on Thursday.
Grazer added “We have a great and dedicated talent and our unmatched programs will provide great local entertainment for all fans.”
ESPN2 also has an exciting program in the works.
We are in addition to that, which will air in November and will give an excellent accent to the nation’s national sports fan base.
And FoxSports and ESPN have many more prominent programming to announce in 2018.