Forward/Rewind: NFL/ESPN.com’s Top 10 ‘Most-Viewed’ Stories of 2012


Top Stories from ESPN.com


From breaking news, to investigative stories, commentary pieces and rankings, a good recap of the year in sports can be seen in ESPN.com’s most viewed stories in 2012.

Millions of fans visit ESPN.com as their online destination for the latest news and insights, and the site looks to continue its lead in the Sports category in 2013, carrying over an average minute audience of 77,000 last year, 52 percent higher than its closest competitor (source: comScore).

“Our list of the most trafficked stories each year is a barometer of what resonates most with sports fans,” said Patrick Stiegman, editor-in-chief, ESPN.com. “2012 was no exception to the trends of previous years. Coverage of the NFL, popular with fans seemingly 24/7/365, as well as breaking news — unfortunately, sometimes tragic — from around the sports world proved to be the most widely consumed content on our sites.”

#10#NBArank: Lebron James No. 1
#9NFL unveils new uniforms for 32 teams
#8NFL hammers Saints for bounties
#7Junior Seau dies at 43
#6Reilly: The Inspiration of Tim Tebow
#5Alipour: Sex in the Olympic village
#4NCAA levels sanctions on Penn State
#3Howard to Lakers deal complete
#2Chiefs Belcher kills girlfriend, self
#1QB Peyton Manning chooses Broncos

By Kristie Chong-Adler

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Editor’s Note: With this two-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2013/2012 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2013 and some of what transpired in 2012. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.

NFL

Seth Markman, senior coordinating producer, NFL studio shows

Best off camera moment:
It was actually the night Mike Ditka suffered a minor stroke. As a show and as a family, we were all very concerned. I tried his cell phone when he was in the hospital. I thought I was going to get his voicemail but he picked up and said, “Seth, I’m alright.” For me, there’s no better moment than that this year. When I called around to everyone on the show, they were equally relieved and happy to hear the good news.

Seth Markman

Seth Markman

Favorite segment or interview:
The day after Veterans Day, Rick Reilly did a very touching piece for Monday Night Countdown about a father and son who, at their own expense, went to every NFL stadium this year and took Wounded Warriors to games. I had the chance to meet them in New Orleans at our Monday Night Football game. It was an amazing experience. So, Rick does this great piece and when it ends Coach Ditka interrupts Chris Berman during the bump. He tells Rick, “Have them get in touch with me. I’m paying for the rest of their trip.” It was just a great moment. A day later I got a note from the father and son asking me to thank Ditka because he was paying their expenses for the rest of the season.

#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
#TebowCFL – Tim Tebow has a hard time finding a quarterback job in the NFL and he takes his talents North of the border.

New Year’s resolution for NFL on ESPN:
The goal for all of our NFL shows is to continue to be the place for NFL news and analysis. Beyond that, we have some younger analysts that I want to see develop on the air and become even better on television. I would also like to find ways for us to use social media even more effectively and to better communicate with people who are using multiple screens while they are watching our shows.

What makes your group a family:
This summer we participated in a big commercial shoot with our NFL team. It wasn’t just Countdown. NFL Live, NFL32 and Fantasy Football Now were also part of it. We had two beautiful buses on the set to serve as a green room for all our talent to make sure everyone had plenty of space. Of course, everyone stayed in one bus talking, joking and hanging out together while the other bus — which was just as nice — was parked there unused. Our team truly is a family and we love spending time together. The same can be said each week of the season when we all sit in a big room at ESPN every Sunday and watch the games together. There’s no other place like that in America with our TV group, fantasy football, social media, etc. We work with a very close-knit, talented group of people, and there are no divas on these shows.

Forward/Rewind logo by Samantha Baron