Front & Center: ESPN VP, Consumer Insights, Barry Blyn

East Rutherford, NJ - December 18, 2001 - Continental Arena: Fan holding up a SportsCenter Sign during the 2001 Jimmy V Classic (Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

ESPN goes to great lengths to understand what its fans want from the network. (Scott Clarke/ESPN Images)

Click HERE to listen or visit iTunes to download the podcast and be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the Front & Center podcast. Also, make sure to check out the ESPN Radio app, available for the iPad.

“We have to be fanatical about listening to our audience,” said ESPN Vice President, Consumer Insights, Barry Blyn.

And Blyn is perhaps the most fanatical of them all as he leads ESPN’s six-year-old “Brand Health Project,” an on-going, never-ending journey to find out what fans want from ESPN.

Barry Blyn (Donna Svennevik / ESPN Images)

Barry Blyn (Donna Svennevik / ESPN Images)

With consumer interviews being conducted virtually every day of the year, Blyn and his team – under the leadership of Senior VP, Research & Analytics, Artie Bulgrin – travel the country to take pose questions and take the pulse of ESPN fans.

In the Front & Center podcast above, Blyn: explains how research is used in practical manners; reveals that if SportsCenter were its own network, it would be the fourth-highest rated one among men 18-34; discusses the changing behavior of sports fans; and divulges which ESPN Audio host is his father Murray’s favorite.