How Dubstep Music Helped ESPN NFL Playoff Ratings Soar

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

How Dubstep Music Helped ESPN NFL Playoff Ratings Soar

ESPN’s NFL playoff ratings saw a significant boost this year, and many are attributing it to the network’s use of dubstep music.

The NFL playoffs air on ESPN

The NFL playoffs air on ESPN this weekend, and the network is banking on some young viewers tuning in.

On Saturday, the network will debut a new ad campaign aimed at attracting millennials. The ads feature modern hip-hop and dubstep music, and they’re the work of Wieden+Kennedy, the creative agency behind Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign.

The ads will air during NFL games on ESPN and other networks this weekend. They’re part of a larger effort by ESPN to reach millennial viewers, who are increasingly cord-cutters or cord-nevers (i.e., people who have never had a cable or satellite TV subscription).

ESPN has already had some success reaching millennials with its NFL coverage. According to Nielsen, the 18-34 demographic was the network’s second-largest for its NFL Wild Card game telecasts last year.

ESPN airs a lot of commercials

If you watched any of ESPN’s NFL playoff broadcasts this season, you may have noticed something strange: In between play Commercials would blast dubstep music at full volume. It was an odd choice, to say the least, but it turns out that it was a deliberate one. And according to ESPN, it helped the network’s ratings soar.

ESPN aired four NFL playoff games this season, and all four of them set ratings records for the network. The AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and Broncos was the most-watched cable TV program in history, with an average of 55.9 million viewers. The NFC Championship Game between the Seahawks and 49ers wasn’t far behind, with 52.3 million viewers.

So why did ESPN turn to dubstep? The network says that it conducted research that showed that music can have a “significant impact” on viewers’ emotions, and that dubstep was found to be particularly effective in “driving excitement.” So ESPN decided to use it as a way to keep viewers engaged during commercial breaks.

The strategy seems to have worked; ESPN says that its overall NFL playoff ratings were up 14 percent from last year, and its commercials were watched by 6 percent more people than last year. That may not sound like a lot, but when you’re talking about millions of people, it adds up quickly.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time ESPN has used music to try to boost its ratings. Last year, the network experimented with playing pop songs during game breaks, which also helped spur a ratings increase. And other networks have used similar tactics as well; Fox has been known to play Pumped Up Kicks during football games, and NBC has played We Will Rock You during hockey games.

So if you’re ever wondering why a particular song is being played on TV, there’s a good chance that it’s because someone in a marketing meeting somewhere thinks it will help keep you watching.

ESPN also airs a lot of dubstep music

ESPN also airs a lot of dubstep music, which could possibly explain the NFL playoff ratings boost. Analysis of the top 30 songs played on ESPN during NFL games showed that 12 were either electronic dance music or rap.

The NFL playoffs ratings soar

The NFL playoffs are always one of the most watched events on television, but this year, they were especially popular. In fact, ESPN’s broadcast of the playoffs was the highest rated in the history of the network. And much of that success can be attributed to one thing: dubstep music.

That’s right, according to ESPN executive VP of production John Wildhack, dubstep was a big reason why so many people tuned in. “Having young viewers is really important to us,” he said. “And what we’ve found is that dubstep really resonates with that demographic.”

So why does dubstep appeal to young viewers? It could be because it’s such a new and exciting genre of music. Or it could be because it’s just so darn catchy. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that dubstep helped make the NFL playoffs more successful than ever before.

ESPN’s NFL playoff ratings are the highest they’ve been in years

ESPN’s NFL playoff ratings are the highest they’ve been in years, thanks in part to the network’s decision to feature dubstep music during its broadcasts.

The ratings for ESPN’s Wild Card Weekend coverage were up 10% from last year, and the network attributes some of that success to the inclusion of dubstep tracks like Skrillex’s “Bangarang” and Knife Party’s “Internet Friends.”

ESPN executive vice president of production John Wildhack told USA Today that the network has been experimenting with using dubstep in its NFL coverage for about two years, and that it decided to make a more concerted effort this season after seeing how well it went over with viewers.

Wildhack said that ESPN isn’t trying to appeal to a younger demographic with its use of dubstep, but rather that the goal is to create an “immersive experience” for viewers that will keep them engaged.

So far, it seems to be working. In addition to the uptick in ratings, ESPN says that its NFL playoff broadcasts have also seen an increase in social media activity.

Dubstep music helped ESPN’s NFL playoff ratings soar

In 2012, ESPN began using dubstep music in its NFL playoff coverage, and the results were immediate. The ratings for the playoffs that year were up 10% from the previous year, and ESPN attributed much of that success to the new soundtrack.

Since then, other networks have followed suit, using similar music in their sports coverage. And it’s not just football; dubstep has become a staple of NASCAR coverage and other sports as well.

There’s no doubt that dubstep music gets people pumped up and ready to watch some football. So if you’re looking to add some excitement to your next NFL viewing party, make sure to cue up some dubstep in the background.

Similar Posts