Ratings Update: 2016 ESPYs Ceremony Drops From 2015 Edition

Peyton Abby Kobe [ABC]

Update: National data supports what was signaled in the overnights: the 2016 ESPY Awards ceremony was down substantially from the 2015 edition.

According to the final live+same-day national data, which was first posted on Showbuzz, Wednesday’s three-hour ESPYs ceremony averaged a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating and 5.60 million total viewers.

With Caitlyn Jenner’s Arthur Ashe Award speech as its key drawing card, last year’s show drew a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating and 7.75 million total viewers.

Among network shows, this year’s ceremony was the #3 adults 18-49 performer at 8PM (beneath “America’s Got Talent” and “Big Brother”). It improved to #2 at 9PM (beneath only “AGT”) and #1 at 10PM.
While the adults 18-49 and total viewership numbers may paint a more favorable picture, the overnight households reflect a big year-to-year drop for ABC’s ESPY Awards ceremony.

According to overnight metered market data posted by Programming Insider, Wednesday’s awards show averaged a 4.3 overnight household rating.

Last year’s show, which was bolstered by Caitlyn Jenner’s Arthur Ashe Award acceptance speech, drew a considerably stronger 6.0.

This year’s show drew its peak overnight household numbers during the 9-9:30PM, 9:30-10PM and 10-10:30PM half hours; each drew a 4.4.

Despite the year-to-year drop, the show was still on the map from a competitive standpoint. In terms of household audience, ABC’s three-hour ESPYs ceremony placed second to NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” during the 8-10PM window. It was network television’s top show during the 10-11PM hour.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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