Advanced Television

The Last Dance most-viewed ESPN doc ever

April 21, 2020

Fans missing sports tuned to ESPN and ESPN2 in droves to watch 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.

The Last Dance averaged 6.1 million viewers in the US for episodes 1 and 2 across ESPN & ESPN2. 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. In addition to viewership, The Last Dance dominated the conversation on social media.

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). This year, it is also the most-viewed telecast on ESPN since the CFP National Championship Game. 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.

The Last Dance premiere dominated cultural conversation and interest as the #1 trending topic on Twitter on April 20th 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 April 19th.

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 3.5 million viewers and 2.6 million minutes.

In the UK and the rest of the world, the series is available (next day) on Netflix.

Categories: Articles, Content, Research