Miss Universe Falls to Second-Lowest Numbers Ever in the Ratings

The Miss Universe pageant aired on Sunday night, crowning Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters as the winner out of over 90 contestants at the AXIS theater at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

This year's pageant drew 4.4 million total viewers and a 1.1 rating, down 15 and 27 percent from last year, TV Line reports, giving the annual event its second-lowest numbers ever. The least-watched broadcast came in 2013 when the pageant was aired on a tape delay from Russia and saw numbers of 3.8 mil/0.9.

Nel-Peters is from the South African coastal community of Sedgefield in the Western Cape province and helped develop a program to train women in self-defense after she was robbed at gunpoint one month after being crowned Miss South Africa.

During the question-and-answer portion of the show, the 22-year-old was asked about what she thought was the most important issue facing women in the workplace.

"In some places, women get paid 75% of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours — and I do not believe that this is right," she said. "I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world."


Also on Sunday night, NBC Sunday Night Football earned 16.4 million and a 5.1, down 13 and 18 percent from last week. ABC's America's Funniest Videos (5.3 mil/1.2) saw its best numbers all season, while Shark Tank (4.1 mil/1.0) was up a tenth.

Photo Credit: Instagram / @demileighnp