Discovery’s Deadliest Catch Hauls In Record Audience

Season five of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch got off to a fast start Tuesday night, drawing 4.16 million total viewers in the 9 p.m. time slot, making the premiere the most-watched episode in the series’ history.

The April 14 season opener set a high-water mark, breaking the previous record established by the season three finale, which delivered 4.07 million viewers on June 19, 2007.

This week’s show also bagged record demo deliveries, including adults 25-54 (2.78 million) and viewers 18-49 (2.6 million).

On the day of the premiere, Discovery bought up more than 90 percent of Microsoft’s online and mobile advertising inventory, as interactive Deadliest Catch creative appeared on MSN, Windows Live Hotmail, the MSN Mobile home page and Xbox Live. While Discovery did not disclose the cost of its 24-hour takeover, the company confirmed that the deal ate up the show’s entire seven-figure online marketing budget.