Shark Week Makes a Major Splash in TV Ratings

The premiere of Shark Week on Discovery marks its best ratings in years.

There are few TV traditions that conjure up nostalgic memories quite like Shark Week, which has been a staple of Discovery's summer programming for 35 years, with this year's kickoff to the fishy festivities earning some of the highest numbers of the event in years. A key component to these numbers would likely be the cross-promotion of the event on other networks owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, as well as the inclusion of the Shark Week specials on streaming platform Max. This year's Shark Week has been hosted by Aquaman star Jason Momoa. The week-long programming will conclude on Saturday, July 29th, though Shark Week specials will still be available to stream on Max and on discovery+.

"We were able to harness the strength of the Warner Bros. Discovery portfolio to cross-promote Shark Week and now, with double-digit gains throughout the week, it is the highest-rated in three years -- with every night outperforming a year ago," Howard Lee, President of Discovery Networks and TLC, shared in a statement. "It's a powerful example of how we can use our platforms to showcase high-profile programming events. Also, our collaboration with host Jason Momoa, the fan-favorite actor and conservationist who guides viewers through each night of programming, ensured that our first night was a success and set the stage for the week's strong performance."

"We engaged viewers across every brand and platform because we wanted to provide memorable Shark Week experiences for them, including offering an exclusive sneak peek of Meg 2: The Trench, the next big theatrical release from Warner Bros. Discovery," Josh Kovolenko, Senior Vice President of Marketing, US Networks Group, added. "We also brokered various marketing partnerships with influential brands that are organically connected to our long-standing mission to highlight and celebrate sharks."

Per press release, "Shark Week, Discovery Channel's week-long celebration of sharks, hosted by Jason Momoa, returned for a landmark 35th year on Sunday, July 23rd at 8 p.m. ET and drove the network to rank #1 in primetime for all of television with Adults and Men 18-49 and #1 across cable television with Adults and Men 25-54, Adults and Men 18-49, and Adults 18-34. The highest-rated Shark Week premiere night in three years, the programming event reached more than 5.3 million total viewers across Discovery Channel, discovery+, and Max on its first night.

"Sunday night's telecasts averaged a 1.13 L3 rating among Adults 25-54 -- a 9% increase from a year ago and the largest opening night growth in six years. Through the first four nights of Shark Week (Sunday-Wednesday L+SD), Discovery is the #1 network on cable in Adults, Men and Women 25-54, Adults, Men and Women 18-49, and Women 18-34.

"On Sunday, Discovery Channel owned the #1 cable telecast in primetime among Adults and Men 25-54 and Men 18-49. Belly of the Beast: Feeding Frenzy, which provides a close-up look at a great white shark feast captured by researchers with cameras inside a whale carcass decoy, kicked off the night with a 1.10 L3 rating with Adults 25-54 at 8 p.m. ET. Jaws vs The Meg which showcases scientists' research on how great whites defeated a super predator, delivered a 1.24 L3 rating with Adults 25-54 from 9-10 p.m. ET, a 7% increase over a year ago, and was the #1 Primetime telecast on all of television with Men 25-54. Closing out the night at 10 p.m. ET, Serial Killer: Red Sea Attacks, investigating deadly shark attacks in Egypt, delivered a 1.01 L3 with Adults 25-54, a 20% increase from last year."

You can catch up on Shark Week programming on Max and discovery+ before the event concludes on Saturday, July 29th on Discovery.

Have you been watching Shark Week? Let us know in the comments!