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OSC Weekly Ratings Wrapup

by David Carlson
August 21, 2019 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)

Should ESPN rename ESPNews to ESPN3?

While ESPNews is mostly used as a news desk summary of the sports day, focused largely on events that happen to air on other ESPN networks, ESPN does throw some original event programming on the network, including some college football games as well as events OSC covers such as the WNBA, NWSL, and the CFL. The name of the network though, ESPNews, doesn't alert fans to look for live games on the network.

On the streaming side, ESPN has moved a lot of content from what was on, which is a "free" streaming platform to users, as long as their ISP pays for access to it (something most major ISPs do), to their ESPN+ paid streaming service ($5/mo). In addition, ESPN also uses their WatchESPN moniker, which is the umbrella term for access to any ESPN content online, increasingly in an effort to get more streaming eyeballs.

Given these developments, it might make sense for ESPN to retire the name of ESPNews for that cable/satellite channel, and rename it to "ESPN3." Any streaming content that has been marked as "ESPN3" online could instead be called something like "WatchESPN Exclusives" and would still fall under the current ESPN3 ISP carriage terms.

The new ESPN3 cable network would invoke more of a feeling to viewers that they could expect to see more live/non-news content on the channel, which might help those events and leagues that are being broadcast there. For times when they don't have a live or recorded show on ESPN3, they could have ESPNews as ongoing content on ESPN3 to fill those schedule holes, so they don't completely lose the ESPNews usage. It just wouldn't be used as a channel name any longer, just a program name.

Last Week's OSC Leagues Ratings Summary:

8/1410pESPN2WNBANot in Top 150
8/181pESPNewsNWSLNot in Top 150
8/183pNBATVWNBANot in Top 150
8/186pNBATVWNBANot in Top 150
8/187:30pESPN2^WICC/NWSL .04/114k

^ - Women's International Champions Cup - NWSL Championship team in final

The NWSL got a bit higher level of exposure with their championship team the Carolina Courage playing in the Women's International Champions Cup Sunday night on ESPN2. The match was able to get into the Top 150 cable shows for Sunday, and drew 114,000 viewers and a .04 demo rating.

The PLL notched another Top 150 showing this week, also grabbing a .04 demo rating. This slight increase in the 18-49 demo for the PLL shows some level of growth as the season goes on for the PLL, and it will be interesting to see if the three playoff games on NBCSN could increase even to a .05 demo in September leading up to the PLL championship on the main NBC network.

Coming up this week is a bevy of OSC league programming online.

August 19-25 OSC Leagues on TV:

8/252pCBSBIG3 Playoffs

Follow OSC TV and ratings discussion at

NOTE: Don't know what the "demo" is? Unsure of why the different ratings numbers don't match up? Read our explanation of TV ratings in our first article here.

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National Women's Soccer League Stories from August 21, 2019

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