Nielsen released their weekly viewership numbers and they show The Mandalorian’s Season 3 premiere viewership numbers significantly declined from the Season 2 premiere.
Nielsen revealed during the week of The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere, February 27 through March 5, the show was only viewed 823 million minutes.
That was only good for fifth on the weekly charts behind Outer Banks, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, The Last of Us, and NCIS.
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The show did place third on Nielsen’s Original streaming chart behind Outer Banks, which drew in over 2.21 billion minutes and Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, which garnered over 1.08 billion minutes.
The Last of Us is classified as an acquired property by Nielsen given it airs on HBO and is then streamed on HBO Max. NCIS is also an acquired property given the show originally airs on CBS and has since been licensed to Netflix and Paramount+.
The total minutes viewed for The Mandalorian Season 3 declined by 207 million minutes. Nielsen previously reported that when the Season 2 premiere released on Disney+ the show drew in 1.030 billion minutes.
While doing a straight comparison between the run-time, it actually looks like The Mandalorian might have increased its number of viewers by over 3 million people. The Season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian Chapter 9 “The Marshal” had a run time of 56 minutes. Thus if you divide 1.030 billion minutes by 56, you get around 18.4 million viewers.
The Mandalorian Chapter 17 “The Apostate,” the Season 3 premiere only has a run time of 38 minutes. Dividing 823 million by 38, you get 21.65 million viewers.
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However as YouTuber Valliant Renegade points out, Nielsen’s minutes watched reporting does not just look at single episodes, but looks at the show in its entirety.
He explains, “There is a tremendous amount of binge watching that comes into play leading into the premiere. That means a rather significant amount of those 823 million watch minutes accumulated by Nielsen during that week for the Disney+ show were probably made rewatching Seasons 1 and largely Season 2 to refresh after a two year and four month hiatus from the previous season’s premiere in October 2020.”
On top of noting that binge watching factors into Nielsen numbers, he also notes that Season 2 of The Mandalorian premiered on a Friday rather than the current season debuting on Wednesday.
Valliant Renegade explains, “If The Mandalorian Season 2 premiered on a Friday that means it had a full 48 hours less than the Season 3 premiere of The Mandalorian just a few weeks ago. Well, that makes the Nielsen numbers even worse.”
Later in the video he also points out, “And the worst part of all, when The Mandalorian Season 2 debuted in October of 2020 there were over 10 million fewer subscribers to Disney+ in North America.”
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The Walt Disney Company ended its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020 on October 3, 2020. In their earnings report for the quarter they reported they had a total of 73.7 million subscribers to Disney+
In their most recent quarterly report for the first quarter of fiscal year 2023, The Walt Disney Company reported they had a total of 161.8 million Disney+ subscribers.
However, in this new report they indicated that they only have 46.6 million subscribers in the United States and Canada and another 57.7 million internationally for a total of 104.3 million Disney+ Core subscribers. On top of these core subscribers they have another 57.5 million Disney+ Hotstar subscribers. Interestingly, the report indicated that the domestic subscribers declined by 200,000 subscribers compared to the previous quarter.
Valliant Renegade went on to opine, “No matter how you want to slice this, this is terrible for Walt Disney. This is terrible for Lucasfilm and this is terrible for Star Wars and The Mandalorian.”
“This is an audience that has shrunk precipitously since its second season,” he added.
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This Nielsen report follows in the wake of a previous report from Samba TV that indicated viewership numbers for The Mandalorian’s Season 3 premiere in the United States were less than the premieres of Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett.
On top of these reports, IMDb user reviews were significantly down for the Season 3 premiere compared to the Season 2 premiere. The Season 2 premiere had 27,264 reviews.
In contrast, the Season 3 premiere only had 14,193 reviews.
What do you make of this viewership data from Nielsen showing The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere week viewership declined by over 200 million minutes viewed compared to Season 2?
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