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-“Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space” Smashes Ratings Records to Become Discovery’s #1 Non-Prime Time Telecast in the History of the Network-

January 6, 2021

Contact - Paul Schur
Group VP, Communications

In 2020, Discovery Channel owned more of the Top 10 unscripted series on cable among men (four) than any other cable network. Discovery also broke into cable’s Top 10 among key demos for the year, including Men 25-54 (#6), Men 18-49 (#6) and Total Viewers P2+ (#10). Additionally, Discovery’s Gold Rush continued to buck trends and reign as the #1 unscripted series among Men in ALL OF TELEVISION - outperforming all broadcast networks - on Friday nights. While Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space set ratings records among Person 25-54.

Discovery owned cable’s Top 10 unscripted series in 2020 among men with the Gold Rush franchise with Gold Rush (#3); Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail (#5); Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine (#6); and Gold Rush: White Water (#8) among Men 25-54. The franchise also broke into cable’s Top 10 among Men 18-49 with Gold Rush (#3); Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail (#6); Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine (#7); and Gold Rush: White Water (#8).

In May, Discovery audiences witnessed history as the live event, Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space, documented the successful NASA launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. The live coverage of the launch averaged a 2.44 rating among Person 25-54, with more than 4.7 million Total Viewers P2+, ranking as the #1 non-prime telecast in the history of Discovery Channel.

 In July, Discovery's annual Shark Week continued to reel in viewers as Shark Week 2020s jaws-dropping lineup delivered incredible shark stories and celebrated the 20th anniversary of ‘Air Jaws’. Shark Week 2020 drove Discovery to be the #1 cable network in Prime Time for the week among both Persons 25-54 and Persons 18-49, no exclusions, as the network took audiences to oceans around the world revealing insights into the mysterious world of these magnificent creatures.

Other 2020 programming highlights included multiple Top 5 unscripted cable series among key demos, including on Tuesdays, Deadliest Catch (#3) and Deadliest Catch: Bloodline (#4) among Men 25-54; and Deadliest Catch: Bloodline (#2) Deadliest Catch (#4) and Moonshiners (#5) among Men 18-49. On Mondays, Fast N’ Loud (#4) and Street Outlaws: Fastest in America (#5) broke into the Top Five among Men 25-54. 


Source: The Nielsen Company, L+3 program-based data, strict daypart excl. breakouts for net ranks; ranks based on 000s, percent change based on coverage ratings to 2 decimals (except P2+ which is 000s); program rankers excl. repeats, breakouts, specials & program-level specials (incl. reunions), sports & sports programming (incl. wrestling), and movies; 3+ TC for CY20, 2+ TC for 4Q20.