Disney has been accused of inflating viewership numbers for Ahsoka, which marked the latest entry in the struggling Star Wars franchise.
After the show debuted, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy claimed that it had pulled in 14 million views on Disney +, which placed the show as the top streaming option on the platform. “Ahsoka has become a fan favorite with people of all ages and it’s wonderful to see her continue to resonate with viewers in her very own headlining series,” Kennedy said.
“I want to recognize the fantastic work done by our creative team, led by Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, the incredible cast led by Rosario Dawson, and our talented crew — and on behalf of the team and all of Lucasfilm, we give our thanks to all the fans who have been with Ahsoka on every step of her journey and to all those who are just learning about her now in Ahsoka on Disney+,” she added.
An analysis from third party tracking firm Samba TV found that viewership numbers were much lower than Disney’s claims, however. Samba TV reported that Ahsoka was watched by just 1.2 million households over a total of six days.
This figure came in far below premiere numbers for other Disney + features, such as third season of the Mandalorian, which was viewed by 1.6 million households over the same time period. The new shows premiere also failed to keep up with Obi-Wan Kenobi, which drew 2.14 million households.
“Ahsoka has now officially performed at half, half of Obi-Wan Kenobi and from as best we can tell about half of the six-day total that would be the Season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian from a couple of years ago,” said box office analyst Valliant Renegade.
“What’s interesting about that is that over time The Walt Disney Company has added nearly 50% more subscribers to the Disney+ service going from around 30 million when Mando Season 2 premiered to today where there are about 45 million subscribers,” he went on to say. “So as Disney+ subscribers have been going steadily up over the last several years the overall trend in viewership for Disney+’s ‘core’ content as Bob Iger calls it, that being both Star Wars and Marvel, for that matter, have been steadily on decline.”