The commercial-free airing drew 1.45 million viewers in Live+3 to rank as the most watched National Geographic Documentary Films premiere ever on the network. Its total cumulative reach was 3.1 million viewers.
The docu that chronicles the first ropeless ascent of Yosemite’s 3,200-foot El Capitan also scored solid ratings outside the U.S., performing above average during Live+SD debuts in the U.K., Europe and Latin America, Nat Geo said.
Free Solo directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin follow Alex Honnold as he begins training for the climb but sees the armor of invincibility he’s built up over decades unexpectedly break apart when he begins to fall in love, threatening his focus and giving way to injury and setbacks. The docu captures deeply human moments with Honnold as well as the death-defying climb that results in a triumph of the human spirit.