10.7 million watched the main event broadcast from 9:10-10:20 PM, culminating with 13 million people tuning in during the walk itself from 9:38-10:01 PM. An average of 8.5 million people were watching the entirety of the special, including the pre-show.
The program was also something of a proxy war between ABC News and NBC News. ABC News produced Wallenda’s last stunt, when he walked across Niagara Falls, with “Good Morning America’”s Josh Elliott and ESPN “SportsCenter’”s Hannah Storm hosting. For the Grand Canyon stunt, NBC News produced the special for Discovery, with “Today’”s Willie Geist and Natalie Morales hosting.
The numbers for Discovery were on par with Wallenda’s last wire walk.
The daredevil’s last TV special, which aired on a Friday night last June on ABC, averaged 10.1 million viewers, peaking at 13.1 million viewers during its final half-hour.