Ratings: ESPY Awards Soar on ABC; CBS’ ‘Big Brother’ Steady

Caitlyn Jenner ESPYS
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The first public appearance by Caitlyn Jenner since her transition boosted the ESPY Awards, which aired on ABC for the first time, to predictably larger ratings Wednesday, standing as the night’s top program in both demos and total viewers.

Wednesday’s three-hour show, in which Jenner was honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, averaged a 2.2 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers overall on the ABC stations from 8 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise a bit in the nationals once all West Coast viewing is accurately included. Last year’s telecast on ESPN did a 1.1 demo rating and about 2.2 million total viewers.

In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, which are not affected by time zone differences, the 2015 ESPY Awards averaged a 6.0 household rating, more than triple last year’s telecast on ESPN (1.7) and the best ever for the kudocast, which began in 1993. The ESPYs peaked in the 10:30-10:45 p.m. hour with a 6.9 overnight rating.

According to Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, roughly 2 million Tweets were sent about the 2015 ESPYs on Wednesday and were seen by an audience of about 9.3 million people. That unique audience was more than 13 times as large as the next biggest entertainment program of the night, MTV’s “Catfish” (684,000).

See more: ESPYs Burns and Highlights

Elsewhere in primetime Wednesday, CBS’ “Big Brother” (1.9 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) was nearly on par with last week and remained the top series. Fox’s “MasterChef” (1.4/6 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) was down 0.3 from its season high of last week, and lead-out “Bullseye” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) was down a tenth for its finale.

CBS drama “Extant” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) hit a series low, down 0.2 from last week and a tick below the 0.7 it did for its second-season premiere on July 1.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.2/8; CBS, NBC and Fox, 1.1/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 7.7 million; CBS, 5.1 million; NBC, 4.5 million; Fox, 3.7 million; CW, 1.0 million,

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  1. JC says:

    Im with you, this guy should be ashamed for accepting. What did he do to deserve this award ? Wear a dress ?? Guy wants to be a woman and can’t, so make a big deal and identify with an mental illness and poof you get an AA award ? Bruce stands for what ? Transgender’s ? Wheres the courage ? Glad I can say what all the other people in Hollywood can’t say.

  2. unknown says:

    NO WAY !!! Should this AWARD go to this TRANS HYPE !!! 1st. LEGAL from gov then all these NEW SERIES about all these people who are COMING OUT !!! What about all the SOLDIERS who have COME OUT !!! Sorry, but i agree with the COMMENTS he made to JENNER & Its all ABOUT the tabloids & FUNNY JENNER is the one who is ALL OF A SUDDEN COMING OUT when ALL THESE SERIES are COMING OUT ALSO ? Its ALL ABOUT MEDIA & JENNER is RIGHT IN IT !!! Im NOT A SUPPORTER OF IT !!! Why cant THE SOLDIERS GET THEIR BODIES BACK??? WILL AMERICA HELP THEM BY EVERYONE DONATING FOR THEM ALL TO GET SUPPORT??? Thanks

  3. I guess if they kept ratings on a train wreck they’d ‘soar’ too.

  4. Pls tell the truth In Nielsen’s metered-market for award shows this came in as the lowest watched Award show in the big markets for 2015- 2015 ESPY Awards averaged a -5 as compared to other Award shows

  5. bootsnchaps says:

    Ah, yes…zzzzz… Big…zzz…. Brother, another… zzz….. exciting…zzz… season.

  6. Linda Sikana says:

    He should not have received all that attention ,there is nothing heroic about transgender, but of course he is in the right skin. Stop forcing the world with your views about certain issues, there are athletes more deserving than showing Bruce Jenner.

    • Hazy says:

      It will take me a very long time until I watch anything on ABC again, including my favorite, the news!
      I am a free thinking Liberal, and believe that people should live their lives any way they choose, as long as it doesn’t hurt others. Having said that, I do NOT believe this award should have been given to Jenner. There were so many more deserving of it! It is a false representation of Transgender people; how many people have the millions to spend on a new you? Jenner has the money to do this, and now a real slap in the face; Jenner is expected to get $100,000.00 per speaking engagement, How much of that will he contribute to Transgender people? I’m betting, NOT MUCH!

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