Miss USA’s Ratings Lower Than Ever Following David Trump Controversy

Miss USA’s Ratings Lower Than Ever Following David Trump Controversy
Miss USA Angela N / Flickr CC BY 2.0

This year’s Miss USA took a big ratings dive as the annual beauty pageant failed to even bring in a million viewers, according to numbers released by Nielsen on Tuesday.


In fact, Miss USA has only managed to bring in an average of 925,000 viewers, according to CNN Money. Moreover, Business Insider estimates that Miss USA lost as much as 4 million viewers, compared to its pageant last year. This represents the lowest number of viewers the pageant has ever experienced throughout Miss USA’s long history of 64 years.

The year has been quite rough for the Miss Universe Organization (which also holds the annual Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants) following Donald Trump’s rift with NBC after Trump’s controversial comments concerning Mexican immigrants. In response to this, NBC released a statement on June 29, which confirmed that the network will no longer be in business of with Donald Trump.

NBC stated, “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump. To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC. In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in ‘The Apprentice’ on NBC. ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ is licensed from Mark Burnett’s United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue.”

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Meanwhile, the Miss Universe Organization renewed its commitment to continuing its events as scheduled. In a statement last June 29, the organization said, “While world politics and other influences will undoubtedly play a role, the pageant will always seek to transcend controversy. It is unfortunate that recent events beyond our control have only served to negatively impact the women who participate in the pageant, our state directors, our sponsors and our fans. We want our supporters to know we remain committed to them and we will be conducting the pageant, regardless of the current situation. We are moving forward, full-steam ahead as planned for the next two weeks, culminating in the crowning of a new Miss USA on July 12th.”

Miss USA pretty much went on as planned with REELZ Channel securing exclusive rights to telecast the pageant.

Of the rights acquisition, REELZ Chief Executive Officer Stan Hubbard said, “As one of only a few independent networks, we decided to exercise our own voice and committed ourselves to bringing this pageant to American viewers everywhere. For us, this decision is about the dreams of the contestants who come from all walks of life across the United States, the city of Baton Rouge that has proudly come together to host this pageant and the viewers who will be watching and celebrating its 54th year on television. The MISS USA Pageant is a perfect fit on REELZ where movies, entertainment and celebrity come together every day of the year.”

REELZ reportedly reaches as much as 70 million homes and airs shows such as “The Kennedys,” “Beverly Hills Pawn,” “Celebrity Legacies,” “OK! TV,” “Hollywood Scandals” and “Hollywood Hillbillies.”

On the other hand, what was a rough night for Miss USA was actually a relatively good one for REELZ as far as viewership goes. CNN Money learned that the recent telecast of Miss USA on REELZ actually represented the second highest premiere night in channel’s history, following the airing of the 2011 mini-series “The Kennedys.”

For Miss USA, however, this year’s numbers represent a new low following its previous lowest viewership of 4.6 million viewers back in 2013. At the same time, Variety also reports that a second airing of the Miss USA pageant brought in some 248,000 viewers. This brings the viewership total of the pageant to 1.273 million.

The 2015 Miss USA pageant was held in Baton Rouge and at the end of the night, Miss Oklahoma USA 2015 Olivia Jordan was crowned Miss USA. Meanwhile, Donald Trump had announced a day before that he will not be able to make it to the event. He tweeted his wishes to the pageant instead.