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Discovery’s Shark Week Sinks Teeth Into Best-Ever Ratings

Predator celebration scores records in key 25-54 demographic, total viewers

Shark Week just bit off a hefty chunk of the Nielsen ratings sheets.

The celebration of the deadly ocean predator scored among adults 25-54 and in total viewers, setting Discovery channel records in the process.

“Shark Week 2015” finished with a best-ever 1.46 Live Plus Same Day primetime rating in the main demo, up three percent from last year (1.42). In overall audience, 2015’s event average of 2.503 million primetime total viewers was up one percent year-over-year, but ended up finishing runner-up to 2013’s version (2.562 million).

Across Nielsen’s total day measurement, “Shark Week 2015” also finished with a best-ever 0.70 demo rating, up 17 percent versus 2014 (0.60). It simultaneously set a record in 24-hour total viewer average, netting 1.269 million, which was up 15 percent year-over-year.

From there it gets a little bit complicated. Nielsen measures weeks from Monday through Sunday, but Shark Week technically started on Sunday, July 5. Therefore, propelled by Shark Week — but not considered “Shark Week” – July 6 to July 12 was Discovery’s most-watched week on record, with 2.379 million primetime total viewers.

In the advertiser-sought 25-54 demo, Discovery enjoyed its second-highest rated week on record during the primetime TV hours. Across total day, Shark Week led Discovery to its top Nielsen week ever in both the key demo rating and across total viewers.

Discovery ranked tops on cable in the key demo and total viewers during the Nielsen week.

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