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.”

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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