directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: VERSUS vs. ESPN

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, January 8, 2009


This is a very interesting read from

This is a quote from the article via the Sports Business Journal:

For ‘08, Versus saw the biggest viewership gains among cable sports nets for both total day programming and primetime, up 20.2% and 23.6%, respectively, from a year ago. Speed also saw double-digit growth in ‘08, as the net had a successful season of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series telecasts. Among the ESPN-branded nets, only ESPN saw gains in ‘08, up in both total day and primetime.

..and here is the graphical representation:

Obviously Versus has a long way to go to catch the ESPN juggernaut in total viewership but they are growing and gaining momentum. They added the IRL recently and I'm sure they have their sights set on acquiring at least another major sports property in the near future.

Versus has treated the NHL well and I personally have enjoyed their coverage and most importantly the respect they give not only the NHL, but each of their properties. Having a real challenger to ESPN will only be a good thing for sports fans everywhere.

I just hope Versus doesn't lose sight of what got them to this stage as they continue their growth. What I hope does not happen is to see this network evolve in a cocky MTV-like sports sideshow ala ESPN. Stay focused on the live sports, respect your properties and control your growth and I see nothing but clear highways and bright sunrays ahead.


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