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‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ Eclipses Two Billion Views Across Digital Channels

The show has also reached 670,000 YouTube Subscribers and more than 450 million YouTube views.

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Ed Sullivan - Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Ed Sullivan - Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

One year after hitting the one billion total views mark, The Ed Sullivan Show has amassed more than two billion total views across all channels (including YouTube, Apple Music and Facebook), in tandem with reaching the 670,000 YouTube Subscribers milestone and more than 450 million YouTube views.

The long-running variety show, which kicked off its 75th Anniversary in June, expanded its reach exponentially via a global digital rights agreement between UMe and SOFA Entertainment Inc. in June 2020. The library encompasses the show’s historic 23-year primetime run on CBS.

The Jackson 5 "I Want You Back" on The Ed Sullivan Show

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Scores of rarities were made available digitally for the first-time including iconic entertainers and influential figures from just about every category of cultural relevance, including music, comedy, sports, film, dance, opera and Broadway.

Sullivan was the first to bring country music (Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Dean, Brenda Lee, and Buck Owens) and many key jazz artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Louis Armstrong to national television viewers.

Sullivan invited and featured some of the earliest or first televised performances of music superstars including Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder, The Band, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Jackson 5, The Mamas and The Papas, The Supremes, and The Rolling Stones. Many people and critics agree that if it wasn’t for The Ed Sullivan Show, they wouldn’t have been exposed to the musicians who continue to hold their positions as icons today.

Ed invited Black artists onto his stage despite what network censors and the show’s sponsors demanded. In a segregated era when music heard on the radio was either white pop or “race” music, Ed was never afraid to cross racial lines. If you had talent, you were on his show. Sullivan’s showcasing of Motown artists occurred due to the great relationship forged by Berry Gordy and Ed Sullivan.

It led to one of the most impactful partnerships in music and television history. The Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, and many more Motown stars became household names and music legends, in large part due to their Sullivan appearances.

Across YouTube/Apple Music/Facebook, the most-viewed clips include The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” (75M streams), Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” (62M streams) and “Don’t Be Cruel” (54M streams), Ike & Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” (48M streams), The Temptations & The Supremes’ “Get Ready/Stop! In The Name of Love/My Guy” (38M streams), Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” (48M streams), Janis Joplin’s “Maybe” (28M streams), Tom Jones’ “Delilah” (27M streams), and The Mamas & The Papas’ “Words Of Love” (22M streams), and “Creeque Alley” (20M streams).

Watch all the archival videos from The Ed Sullivan Show on the program’s official YouTube channel.

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