'Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda' Delivers 12.98 Million Total Viewers During the Walk

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 24th, 2013


via press release:



Special Grabs 7.72 HH, 5.87 P25-54 and 12.98 Million Total Viewers During The Walk

Last night's much anticipated premiere of SKYWIRE LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA, with tightrope walker Nik Wallenda, “The King of the High Wire,” making history as the first person ever to cross over the Grand Canyon, delivered 8.5 million total viewers P2+ from 8-10:20PM, and a whopping 13 million total viewers P2+ during the walk segment, shattering ratings records across numerous platforms, including social media where it generated 1.3 million tweets driving it to become the #1 most social show across broadcast and cable in the U.S.


The SKYWIRE LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA pre-show from 8-9:10PM averaged 3.86 HH, 2.67 P25-54 and 6.25 million total viewers P2+ while the SKYWIRE LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA main event from 9:10-10:20PM averaged 6.43 HH, 4.77 P25-54 and delivered 10.68 million total viewers P2+. The Walk segment from 9:38PM-10:01PM averaged 7.72 HH, 5.87 P25-54 and delivered 12.98 million total viewers P2+.

Discovery Channel delivered its fourth best Prime Time average ever with SKYWIRE LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA and NAKED AND AFRAID. It was the best night for the network since July 2010.

Earning a 4.77 P25-54, the SKYWIRE LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA main event from 9:10-10:20PM ranks as Discovery’s highest-rated live event in all key demos. It’s also the highest-rated special since Walking with Dinosaurs (7.99 HH / 6.16 P25-54) and Raising the Mammoth (7.84 HH / 6.40 P25-54) in March/April 2000. It bested iconic Discovery specials including: Planet Earth, LIFE, Flight That Fought Back and Nefertiti Resurrected. It stands as the #3 Discovery special of all time in multiple key demos including: HH, P2+, P18+, P/M/W25-54 and P/M/W18-49 ratings and delivery.


SKYWIRE LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA had the world buzzing online and broke records for Discovery Channel and beyond, with the historic event generating 1.3M Tweets on Sunday and the special ranking as the #1 most social show across broadcast and cable in the U.S. according to Bluefin Signals, SocialGuide and Trendrr. As Wallenda completed his walk, Twitter volume peaked at 10:01pm ET with 39,618 Tweets/minute. Twitter buzz surged in the 9-10PM hour with 647,917 Tweets, and total Tweets for the day resulted in 1.22B potential impressions. SKYWIRE LIVE generated numerous Worldwide, U.S. and other national Twitter Trending Topics, with #skywire generating 1M mentions for the day and the special holding seven of the trending topics worldwide at 10:08PM. According to Bluefin Signals, SKYWIRE LIVE also drove 71% of all social media comments surrounding TV in primetime on Sunday. Additionally, Discovery Channel's premiere of NAKED AND AFRAID, following SKYWIRE LIVE, trended at #1 in the U.S. and Worldwide and SHARK WEEK shared the spotlight on Twitter thanks to a new promo that debuted last night, with #SharkWeek, #SnuffyTheSeal and Poor Snuffy all trending in the U.S.


Wired In, the online multiplatform experience at SkywireLive.com, invited viewers "backstage" with host Chris Jacobs providing real-time social updates during programming breaks and five additional camera angles – including two on Wallenda - during the walk. The engaging multi-camera offering generated more than 2.1M streams on Sunday, peaking at 322,000 concurrent streams. Since the launch of SkywireLive.com, the site has generated more than 6.8M page views (4.4M on Sunday) and brought in 4.8M visitors (2.9M on Sunday) with compelling short-form video, vertigo-inducing Take the Walk 360-degree interactive and more.

SKYWIRE LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA was seen live in 178 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and Asia Pacific.

Last night's premiere of NAKED AND AFRAID from 10:20-11:20PM delivered 2.75 HH, 2.06 P25-54, and 4.16m P2+. It is the highest rated series premiere in 2013, and the second highest series premiere in the history of the network, behind only the 2012 series premiere of Amish Mafia. An all new episode of NAKED AND AFRAID will air in its regular timeslot on Sunday, June 30 from 10-11PM.




  • Survivor Fan

    Wow, a 4.8 A25-54!! I bet it hit a 3.5 18-49 if not higher! He should walk over something every day, though once a year is probably enough!

  • Oliver

    Holy crap, that’s huge.

  • TimsDale4ever

    Dang, DISCOVERY is kicking ass with ratings. This, and that NAKED show.

  • Chris

    This was such a joke.

  • The End

    @This was such a joke

    Think you’re talking more about the quality of your post there. What this man did was incredible, you’d be praying to whatever god is up there too if you did the same thing as he did.

  • TV Addict

    Did anyone count the number of times he said “Jesus”?
    Lol it was pretty amazing sight to see, great for that guy.

  • ZJW

    I’m kind of shocked. I figured there was interest, and based on my Twitter timeline a whole ton of people seemed to be watching but I figured there would be more of a drop off form last years number considering the move from ABC to Discovery.

  • rob60990

    I saw this trending but had no idea what the hell this was. Why didn’t ABC air it this year when they aired the special last year?

  • Robbie


    Because ABC wanted him to wear a harness during the special last year, and because of that, almost didn’t do the Niagra Falls walk last year.

  • Mike

    @rob60990 ABC required him to wear a tether just in case he fell. Nik didn’t want to wear a tether and Discovery Channel didn’t require it.

  • rob60990

    so if he did fall, could the family sue the network?

  • Niko

    @rob – I’m guessing that he chose to partner with Discovery instead of ABC because they were able to create a contract that didn’t require him to wear a safety harness, which he detests.

  • Niko

    From wikipedia:
    ABC also bid for the walk, but was concerned about the show being repetitive with the Niagara walk and was not prepared to pay as much as Discovery.[97] Additionally, Discovery emphasized its international footprint and promised Wallenda that he would not have to wear a safety device.[97]

  • The End


    Not if he signed a liability waiver.

  • The End


    Makes sense, he probably thinks if he did with a harness, it would lessen the achievement if he was successful. That and he’d be living forever with the thought, could it be done without? It’s a dangerous thing for anyone to do but he’s done it.

  • rob60990

    ABC is stupid. If they would have aired it, it probably would have peaked at least 15 million.

  • No_Lie

    I read somewhere that he found the extra weight of the harness very distracting during the Niagara Falls walk and was convinced that he would be better off without it on this walk

  • Lake

    Of course Discovery doesn’t care about safety.

    If he dies live, it will be a ratings bonanza with all the spinoffs “How He Died” and so on.

  • The End

    @Of course Discovery doesn’t care about safety.

    Not true. Quite a few Discovery shows are wrapped in cotton wool.

  • Phil

    DC was the place to be last night! I watched the walk and a little bit of that new show N&A (so weird)

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