After an increase last year, viewership for the 2013 ESPY Awards sank on ESPN.
The ESPY Awards drew nearly 2.3 million viewers on ESPN Wednesday night, down 6% from last year (2.4M), but up 14% from 2011 (2.0M).
This marks the fourth-least viewed ESPY Awards telecast since at least 1996.
Clearly, the decision to resume airing the ESPY Awards live has had a negative impact on the numbers. From 2004-08, when the show was tape delayed to Sunday night, viewership for the ESPY Awards ranged from 2.8 million (2007) to 3.6 million (2006).
Since resuming the live telecast in 2009, viewership has ranged from 2.0 to 2.6 million.
Wednesday’s telecast was outdrawn by two first-run episodes of “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” on The Learning Channel (2.8M at 9 PM, 2.9M at 9:30 PM). The ESPY Awards aired directly opposite “Honey Boo-Boo” in the Eastern and Central time zones.
ESPY Awards Viewership
(Wed. numbers from TV By the Numbers)