ESPN audiences grew 9% in January and February, thanks to consumers watching the network on barstools and treadmills, instead of on living room couches.

According to data from Nielsen released Tuesday, the network saw increases in viewership across multiple live sports categories in January and February, boosting their overall live audience. Most notably:

  • +19% in College Football Live
  • +17% in NFL Live
  • +17% in NFL Insiders
  • +12% in College Basketball Regular Season
  • +10% in NBA Regular Season

Why it matters: U.S. households may be cutting the cord at a record pace, but out-of-home establishments, like hotels, bars, gyms, etc., are not. For ESPN, which lost 2 million subscribers last fiscal year, audience bumps outside of the household could help the network bring in more ad dollars. The data also shows that ESPN out-of-home audiences are more diverse, with a 6% higher reach into female audiences and a 5% higher reach into millennial audiences.

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China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.