Viewership for the ESPY Awards plunged to the lowest level since at least the mid-1990s.
The 2011 ESPY Awards earned 1.984 million viewers on ESPN Wednesday night, down 24% from last year (2.611M), down 14% from 2009 (2.300M), and the least-viewed edition of the event since at least 1995*.
The previous sixteen-year low was 2.104 million for the 1998 ESPYs.
As recently as 2008, the ESPY Awards drew 3.26 million viewers. That was the final year the event aired on a Sunday night on tape delay.
The telecast drew a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49, down 23% from last year (1.3).
For some perspective, Wednesday’s United States/France Women’s World Cup match topped the event by 69% in viewership and 20% in adults 18-49.
Other shows to draw more viewers Wednesday include TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland (2.001M) and TNT’s Franklin and Bash (2.547M) — though both of those shows drew lower ratings in the adults 18-49 demo.
* Viewership prior to 1996 was not available.
(This year’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)