Social buzz helped drive record ratings for Discovery’s ‘Skywire Live’

By Alex Weprin 

Daredevil Nik Wallenda successfully walked across a tightrope suspended above the Grand Canyon last night, and it drew record ratings for Discovery Channel, peaking with 13 million viewers. The stunt was also one of the biggest social TV events of the year, with social chatter about the stunt dominating Twitter. According to Discovery, as Wallenda completed the walk, nearly 40,000 tweets per minute were being sent. The walk also held seven of Twitter’s trending topics, worldwide.

“Skywire Live” was by far the most social show of Sunday evening according to BlueFin, Trendrr and Social Guide. Discovery says that more than 1.3 million tweets were sent regarding the stunt. Discovery;’s second-screen experience, “Wired In,” also delivered. 2.8 million streams were launched on Sunday, with as many as 322,000 concurrent streams checking out the alternate camera angles during the walk itself.

The social buzz was so strong that it extended to “Naked & Afraid,” which debuted after the wire walk, and even a commercial for “Shark Week” resulted in three trending topics in the U.S.