'The Last Dance' Tops Netflix's 'Tiger King' as World's Most Popular Documentary

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 1, 2020

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 8:  Michael Jordan #23 and Scottie Pippen #33 of the Chicago Bulls huddle together against the Charlotte Hornets on May 8, 1998 at Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 1998 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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If there were any doubts about Michael Jordan's enduring popularity, The Last Dance has become the world's most popular documentary in the two weeks since its debut.

Per metrics used by Parrot Analytics (h/t Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw), the ESPN series chronicling the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls has surpassed Netflix's Tiger King as "most in-demand documentary in the world."

Tiger King had a head start on The Last Dance, with Netflix dropping the seven-episode series March 20. The 10-episode documentary about Jordan's final season with the Bulls debuted April 19 after being moved up because of sports leagues being shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

Shaw noted Tiger King was Netflix's most-watched show in the first quarter of 2020; The Last Dance is already the most-watched documentary series in the history of ESPN.

Television ratings for The Last Dance have been tremendous thus far, particularly with its ability to hold viewers from Week 1 to Week 2.

Per Isabelle Lopez of ESPNPressRoom.com, "Episodes 3 and 4 averaged 5.9 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2 from 9-11 p.m. ET, with episode 3 (9-10 p.m.) averaging 6.1 million viewers and episode 4 (10-11 p.m.) averaging 5.7 million viewers, based on initial Nielsen reporting."

Lopez also noted Sunday's two-hour telecast of The Last Dance was the No. 1 program on social media, with four million interactions between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Based on its current trend, ESPN can count on three more weeks of massive ratings and interest Sunday night. The Last Dance will air six more episodes that run through May 17.


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