A Jordan-esque coup for ESPN
It’s no mystery that the world has desperately been craving live sports, or any fresh sports content, for that matter. Inevitably, this will cause a reaction whenever that fresh sports content is shown, especially if it’s highly anticipated. And that’s exactly what ESPN has done with their highly anticipated 10-part documentary on the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls.
Titled “The Last Dance,” thanks to head coach Phil Jackson’s preseason handout, the series has been met with unanimous approval and excitement. Originally, the documentary was slated to release in mid-June, but after a public Twitter campaign pleading with the network to give the public some new sports-related content to watch, ESPN decided to bump up the release to yesterday, April 19, 2020.
If anything can be taken away from last night’s showing of the first two episodes, it’s that ESPN has hit gold. During the 2-hour broadcast, Twitter was awash with tweets about “The Last Dance,” and Nielsen ratings are already through the roof. National numbers aren’t available yet, but in Chicago, “The Last Dance” had a rating of 12.6, which is a bit over 410,000 homes. Now project that over the entire country and you can just imagine how many people watched this last night.
Additionally, I don’t see interest waning as the series progresses. Michael Jordan was one of the few athletes who captured the entire nation’s imagination, and that interest still holds today. It’s through this fascination that makes me believe that viewing numbers will hold steady throughout the next four showings, and maybe will even motivate those numbers to rise.