‘The Last Dance’ is most-watched documentary content in ESPN history

The premiere episodes rank as the two most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN Networks since 2004.

In this June 16, 1998, file photo, NBA Champions, from left: Ron Harper, Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and coach Phil Jackson are joined on stage by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, second from right, during a city-wide rally in Chicago to celebrate the Chicago Bulls 6th NBA championship.

Twenty-two years after his final game with the Chicago Bulls and 17 after his last NBA game, Michael Jordan still draws an enormous following.

ESPN’s much-anticipated documentary series “The Last Dance,’’ featuring a behind-the-scenes look at Jordan and the 1997-98 Bulls, premiered Sunday night to a massive audience.

The first two episodes of the 10-part series, which aired on ESPN and ESPN2, averaged 6.1 million viewers across the two networks from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, making it the most-watched documentary content in ESPN’s history.

Episode 1 averaged 6.3 million viewers, while the second episode averaged 5.8 million.  Per ESPN, of the 6.1 million viewers the two episodes averaged. 3.5 million of the viewers were in the age 18-49 demographic.

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On ESPN alone, the two hours averaged 5.3 million viewers, with episode 1 delivering 5.7 million viewers and episode 2 delivering 5 million. The ESPN version did not edit out colorful language, while the ESPN2 version did.

The premiere episodes rank as the two most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN Networks since 2004, surpassing the 2012 30 for 30 film “You Don’t Know Bo” (3.6 million) on Bo Jackson. It is also the most-viewed telecast on ESPN since the CFP National Championship Game.

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