ESPN’s debut of made-for-TV movie 3 Saturday night raced to become the total-sports network’s highest-rated movie ever.
The telepic earned a 5.0 Nielsen Media Research rating, and it was seen in more than 4 million households, ESPN said.
The two-hour story of late National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing legend Dale Earnhardt was the year’s second-highest-rated movie on ad-supported cable, ESPN said.
3 was ESPN’s highest-rated movie ever among all key male demographics (18-34, 18-49 and 25-54) and the most-viewed program on all of TV from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday among men in those same age groups.
ESPN also announced that ESPN Original Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment released 3 on DVD Tuesday.
The two-DVD set contains five hours of exclusive bonus footage and interviews from ESPN’s archives, and its suggested retail price is $29.99.
“We at ESPN know well the passion of NASCAR fans, and their approval of 3 is the most gratifying endorsement we could receive,” ESPN executive vice president of programming and production Mark Shapiro said in a prepared statement.