‘The Last Dance’ Series Premiere Ranks as Most-Viewed ESPN Documentary Ever
The first two episodes of “The Last Dance,” the 10-part documentary series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ quest to win a sixth NBA title in eight years, averaged 6.1 million viewers across ESPN & ESPN2 from 9-11 p.m. ET on Sunday. The premiere episodes rank as the two most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN Networks since 2004, surpassing the 2012 film “You Don’t Know Bo” (3.6 million). It is also the most-viewed telecast on ESPN since the CFP National Championship Game.
Of those 6.1 million, 3.5 million were in the 18-49 demo. Episode 1 (9-10 p.m.) averaged 6.3 million viewers and episode 2 (10-11 p.m.) averaged 5.8 million viewers. Additionally, “The Last Dance” ranks as the most-watched telecast among adults 18-34 and 18-49 since sports halted across broadcast and cable networks.
On ESPN alone, the two hours averaged 5.3 million viewers, with episode 1 delivering 5.7 million viewers and episode 2 delivering 5 million.
The top 5 metered markets ESPN and ESPN2 included: Chicago (12.1 rating), Raleigh-Durham (6.5 rating), Norfolk (4.9 rating), Charlotte (4.7 rating), Greensboro (4.7 rating).
The West Coast Prime re-airs at 12am ET averaged an additional 794,000 viewers, of which 414,000 were in the 18-49 demo. Episode 1 averaged 903,000 viewers and episode 2 averaged 685,000 viewers.
In addition to viewership, “The Last Dance” dominated the conversation on social media. The Last Dance premiere dominated cultural conversation and interest as the #1 trending topic yesterday on Twitter and at one point, 25 of the 30 trending topics were all related to the show. It was also the top Google Search Trend in the US on Sunday. On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, “Last Dance” posts from ESPN accounted for a combined 9 million engagements. Two pre- and two post-digital live shows combined for 3.5M viewers and 2.6M minutes.