4.2 million people watched daredevil Felix Baumgartner jump from space on Discovery Channel Sunday afternoon according to data from Nielsen, with an astonishing eight million people watching the jump live on YouTube (shattering a record for the site).
All told 12.65 million people watched the jump live at the same time starting around 1:30 Sunday afternoon. For comparison, that is almost twice as many people than any of the MLB playoff games on TBS.
Discovery Channel and sister network Velocity had exclusive live TV rights, though other channels, such as CNN, played video from the jump leading up to and immediately after the jump. “We are not showing live pictures right now for a reason, we will show live pictures when he is on the ground, and walks away,” CNN’s Chad Myers said, somewhat cryptically.
The jump may be a contrived media event, but viewers have shown that they love to watch these stunts. In June, 13 million people watched daredevil Nik Wallenda walk on a wire across Niagara Falls on ABC.