Discovery and Science Channel soared into the ratings stratosphere on May 30 with Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space. The live special that chronicled NASA’s launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, became the #1 non-prime telecast for the Discovery Channel, the highest-rated telecast for the Science Channel and TV’s #1 telecast for the day across key demos.
The launch averaged a 2.44 P25-54 rating, with more than 4.7 million total viewers for Discovery. At the Science Channel it delivered a 1.00 P25-54 rating and 1.31 million total viewers. Together they netted a combined 7.21 million across the two-hour run time.
“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,” said Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery and Factual. “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.”
Space Launch Live became the highest-rated L+3 telecast on Discovery since the premiere of Phelps vs. Shark and the highest-rated non-prime telecast in Discovery history in key demos. For Science Channel, the broadcast of the launch averaged a 1.00 L+3 P25-54 rating and 1.31 million total viewers, making it Science Channel’s highest-rated telecast on record among P25-54.
Chris Jacobs hosted the live special that followed the launch of veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The event marked the first crewed space mission to be launched into orbit from the U.S. since 2011. The event also featured notable figures and celebrities including Olivia Munn, Simone Biles, Bill Nye, Mark Cuban, Clint Black, Lance Black, John Smoltz, Aaron Paul and Tony Hawk, among others. Leading up to the event, Discovery and Science Channel aired the documentary Nasa & SpaceX: Journey to the Future.