“Space Launch Live” hands Science Channel its highest-ever rating regardless of day part
Discovery and Science Channel are over the moon about the ratings from their SpaceX launch coverage on Saturday. “Space Launch Live” is now the highest-rated non-primetime telecast in the history of Discovery Channel. America’s return to space via the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is the highest-rated telecast in Science Channel’s history, regardless of day part.
Discovery’s live coverage “Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space,” which ran from 2-4 p.m. ET, earned the cable network 4.63 million total viewers and a 2.4 rating among its preferred adults 25-54 demographic. Overall, it was Discovery’s best performance the premiere of “Phelps vs. Shark” in 2017, and hit that same record among non-prime telecasts with women 25-54, adults and women 18-49 and kids 2-11. Science Channel, meanwhile, drew 1.29 million total viewers and a 1.0 rating among the 25-54 crowd.
For the record books, Discovery Channel went live in June 1985, though Nielsen data for the network only goes as far back as 1993. Science Channel has been around in its current iteration since 2007.
On social, “Space Launch” was Saturday’s most-social TV episode, excluding sports-related programming, with almost 600,000 total interactions.
“While many networks covered this historic moment, Discovery and Science Channel took viewers inside the launch by showing the incredible achievements of those who made it happen. We spent almost a year documenting SpaceX’s journey and offered both incredible access at the launch as well as insight from SpaceX Founder and Chief Engineer Elon Musk,” Nancy Daniels, chief brand officer of Discovery and factual, told TheWrap. “Viewers got to experience this major moment in real-time and hear insight from former astronauts like Mike Massimino and Karen Nyberg; active astronauts Jessica Meir and K. Megan McArthur along with other familiar faces including Adam Savage and Mark Rober.”
The launch, which took place at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, was initially supposed to lift off on May 27, but was pushed back to due to poor weather conditions. The mission, known as Demo-2, used a Falcon 9 rocket, also built by SpaceX, to propel it. The event marked the first crewed space mission to be launched into orbit from U.S. soil since 2011. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were the astronauts.