‘The Last Dance’ Viewership Jumps 128% with On-Demand Encores




ESPN’s hit 10-part docuseries, The Last Dance wrapped up last Sunday. And while initial weekly viewership numbers were historically strong, new data is showing that a lot more people are returning to the dance floor. 

ESPN reports that due to time-shifted on-demand streaming, series viewership jumped 128% from the episodes’ first showing – averaging more than 12.8 million viewers per episode. 

Here are the audience growth numbers per episode as of May 20 according to ESPN. This data includes original TV airings, DVR and re-air data from Nielsen, as well as ESPN internal video on-demand streaming metrics.

Episode Current Total Average Audience Original TV Audience Audience Growth 
No. 1 15,339,000 6,340,000 142%
No. 2 15,590,000 5,792,000 169%
No. 3 14,132,000 6,143,000 130%
No. 4 14,871,000 5,657,000 163%
No. 5 12,894,000 5,785,000 123%
No. 6 12,964,000 5,214,000 147%
No. 7 11,870,000 5,344,000 122%
No. 8 12,532,000 4,918,000 155%
No. 9 9,878,000 5,891,000 68%
No. 10 8,694,000 5,400,000 61%
AVERAGE 12,876,000 5,648,000 128%

Unsurprisingly, Chicago led the local market audience numbers for premier episodes with a 12.0 rating; followed by Michael Jordan’s home state of NC with Raleigh-Durham and Greensboro-High Point at a 5.4 rating. Expectations are that viewership will continue to rise through on-demand and TV rebroadcasts. 

The Last Dance will re-air on ABC for five Saturday nights from May 23 through June 20, with two episodes airing each week starting at 8 p.m. ET. 

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