High wire-walker Nik Wallenda was at an unprecedented height for himself during his successful walk across a portion of Grand Canyon last night, and Discovery Channel’s live coverage of his feat raised the network to impressive heights of its own.
Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda, a two-hour special that aired live on June 23 and covered Wallenda’s walk, delivered 8.5 million total viewers P2+ and 13 million total viewers during the actual walk segment, according to a release from Discovery Channel. Discovery says that the Skywire pre-show from 9-9:10pm ET averaged 6.25 million total viewers P2+, while the main event from 9:10-10:20pm ET delivered 10.68 million total viewers P2+. The Walk segment from 9:38-10:01pm delivered 12.98 million total viewers P2+.
The network says Skywire helped Discovery deliver its fourth-best Prime Time average ever, and that it was the best night for Discovery Channel since July 2010. According to the release, Skywire bested famous Discovery specials including Planet Earth, Life, Flight That Fought Back and Nefertiti Resurrected, and it stands as the No. 3 Discovery special of all time in multiple key demos, including HH, P2+, P/M/W25-54 and P/M/W18-49 ratings and delivery.
Skywire also did well on social media, breaking records for Discovery Channel. The special generated 1.3 million tweets on Sunday, and it ranked as the No. 1 most social show across broadcast and cable in the United States (according to Bluefin Signals, SocialGuide and Trendrr). Discovery says Twitter volume peaked at 10:01pm ET, with 39,618 tweets per minute.
© 2013 Discovery Communications. Credit: Tiffany Brown/AP Images