ESPN Last Dance audience up 128% via VoD; Netflix success

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ESPN experienced significant audience increases for each episode of The Last Dance through time-shifted/on-demand viewing, as fans continue to consume the critically acclaimed 10-part docuseries on NBA legend Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

Currently, the total average audience for all 10 episodes is 12,876,000 viewers (as of May 20, 2020), up 128 per cent from the record-breaking 5.6 million viewers per episode, based on initial Nielsen reporting, the day following the premieres.


Each of the 10 episodes will continue to grow over time, as best demonstrated by Episodes 1 and 2, which now have an average audience of 15,339,000 and 15,590,000, respectively, up 142 per cent and 169 per cent from their premieres.

Every episode has grown its audience by at least 122 per cent, except Episodes 9 and 10, which only premiered 5 days ago. Trends dictate both episodes should see a similar result in short time.

Meanwhile, Netflix has revealed The Last Dance series was watched by 23.8 million users outside of the US in its first four weeks on the subscription service. The metric is based on how many accounts watched The Last Dance for at least two minutes.

On Netflix’s Q1 earnings call last month, chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said The Last Dance has “been a win-win for us and ESPN and a great win for basketball fans, who’ve been very hungry for new programming”.

The Last Dance was also a phenomenon on social media, becoming the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for five straight Sundays. Additionally, the show garnered more social conversation on a per episode basis than any TV series this year.


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