Discovery Channel drew about 13 million people to the live broadcast Sunday evening of Nik Wallenda’s “Skywire” tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon, The New York Times reports.
Nothing else on TV that night came close to matching the size of the audience for “Skywire,” the story adds.
"The ratings for Mr. Wallenda’s walk across the gorge were more or less equal to the ratings on the night last year when he walked across Niagara Falls. That stunt, televised by ABC, peaked around 13.1 million viewers, setting a nearly five-year record for the broadcast network," the piece points out.
Wallenda turned to Discovery for his latest stunt because it allowed him to walk across the Grand Canyon without a safety harness, something that ABC insisted he wear, the piece points out.
Social media and online distribution played a big part in the event, as previously reported, with 1.5 million streams reported on Discovery.com and 40,000 tweets per minute on Twitter.