ESPN sets mobile consumption records; why do you think we started Mobile Sports Report?

According to this stunning press release from ESPN the Worldwide Leader in sports is now also the worldwide mobile leader, with sports fans consuming 4.1 billion minutes of ESPN content in November on smartphones and tablets.

Read that again: 4.1 BILLION minutes of content consumed in November, on smartphones and tablets. With mobile usage accounting for 54 percent of all ESPN digital traffic — and with 28.6 million fans only hitting ESPN through mobile devices — you are now getting stats to back up the reason why we started this here Mobile Sports Report site. Sports is not just going mobile, it’s already there. And it’s not coming back.

Neither, apparently, is ESPN. We’ll just let ESPN brag with the money quote from its release, vis-a-vis its digital platform competition:

“ESPN Digital Media accounted for 35% of all sports category usage across computers, smartphones and tablets in November, more than the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 sports properties combined (Yahoo! Sports-NBC Sports Network, NFL Internet Group, and Bleacher Report-Turner Sports Network), according to comScore Multi-Platform data.”

For stats freaks there’s a lot more to dig into here — like, the fact that ESPN is claiming 26.5 million Twitter followers of all ESPN Twitter handles, but only 2.6 million interacted (liked, shared, etc.) with either the ESPN or SportsCenter Facebook pages. Does that mean Twitter is killing Facebook in sports?

I also like this factoid: “ESPN videos were viewed 39.2 million times on YouTube, up 66% from a year ago.” I guess ESPN isn’t too worried about losing viewers to YouTube. Instead it got another 39.2 million ad views. Cha-ching!

Bottom line: People still want to watch sports on TV, but when they’re away from the TV they still want sports. And more often than not — already — they’re using a tablet or smartphone to get that sports content, not a laptop or a desktop computer. Make sure you understand that fact: ESPN’s mobile site usage is ALREADY bigger than desktop traffic. Mobile sports, people. Mobile sports.

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