Ratings for last weekend’s woke ESPY Awards crashed to the lowest numbers the show has ever recorded. The ESPYs only earned 482,000 viewers over both ESPN and ESPN2 combined, making it the smallest audience the show has ever reached dating back to its inaugural awards in 1993. The previous low occurred in 2011 when 1.98 million viewers tuned in, according to Sports Media Watch.
Sunday’s ESPY Awards averaged 482,000 viewers on ESPN and ESPN2, marking the smallest audience on record for the event (dating back to 1995). The previous low was 1.98 million in 2011.
This year’s ESPYs was tape-delayed, lacked its usual live audience, took place a month earlier on the calendar, and occurred more than three months into a historic drought of live sporting events. With no live sports to focus on, this year’s ESPYs was largely devoted to humanitarian and social issues.
Viewership fell 88% from last year (3.87M) and 2018 (3.94M), with the obvious caveat that the event aired as normal on ABC in those years. Viewership also fell 81% from 2014, the last time it aired on ESPN (2.55M).
Since hitting a record-high of 7.75 million viewers in 2015 ”viewership has declined in each subsequent year, though this year obviously comes with a significant asterisk. 2015 is the year the awards went full woke when Caitlyn Jenner was awarded the “Arthur Ashe Courage Award.”
The ESPYs was a far weaker draw than ESPN’s recent Sunday night programming, averaging fewer viewers than any of the documentary premieres that aired on the preceding nine Sunday nights. ESPN averaged 5.6 million viewers for its five-week, ten-episode “The Last Dance,” 1.17 million for “Be Water,” 1.06 million for “Long Gone Summer” and 857,000 and 756,000 for parts one and two of “Lance.”