Grammy Awards Draw 24.9M Viewers; Lowest Audience Since 2009

2nd UPDATE, 11:46 AM: The last note has long since played, everyone is off stage at the Staples Center, winners and losers alike are recovering from the after-parties and the final numbers are in for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. And, like Kendrick Lamar, CBS did not get the big prize this year.

In time-zone adjusted ratings, last night’s live on both coasts Grammys drew 24.95 million viewers and a 7.7 rating among adults 18-49. That’s a drop of 9.4% from last year to the lowest demo Grammy result since 2009. Viewershipwise, the LL Cool J hosted show was dipped 1.4% from 2015 – again, that’s the worst the Grammys have done since 2009 when 19.04 million viewers tuned in.

Despite some technical difficulties, streaming provided an upside for CBS. Offering a free trial, the net’s CBS All Access had its best day ever across the metrics board. Compared to last year’s Grammys, the service was up 247% in live streaming and 192% in unique users. The show was also available for the first time to watch live via streaming on the likes of Apple TV, Roku Players, Android TV and Xbox 360, among others.

UPDATE, 8:50 AM: Like a Top 10 chart, the fast affiliates are in for last night’s primetime, and the Grammy Awards (7.4/22) easily took the top spot. However, while the show live on both coasts will likely see adjustments in the final numbers, as it stands now the shift to a Monday didn’t do the Grammys or CBS any favors.

Compared to the early numbers of the Sunday-broadcast 2015 Grammys (which did not run live on both coasts), last night’s Staples Center show hosted by LL Cool J was down 16% in the key demo. That’s the worst the Grammys have done in the demo since 2009, with which this year’s early numbers are tied. With a total viewership of 23.72 million, last night also markes the first time since 2010 that the Grammys have gone below an audience of 24 million. Last night’s viewership was down 9% from the early results of last year’s Grammys.

The 57th annual Grammy Awards last year ended up getting an 8.5 rating, and 25.3 million total viewers in the final numbers. The shift to a full Monday of originals on the rest of the Big 4 for the Grammys is turning out very unlike when the NBC-broadcasted Emmys moved to Monday in 2014. That became the TV awards show’s second-best viewership in eight years behind the 2013 ceremony, which had a very very strong NFL lead-in.

As it is, CBS won Monday night solidly, while Fox finished second with a 1.8/5 demo rating.

Overall, the Grammy competition knocked everyone down a notch or a tenth or two. The second-to-last episode of The X-Files (2.1/7) revival fell 16% from last week. Lead-out Lucifer (1.6/4) actually suffered less, with only a 6% dip. ABC’s two-hour The Bachelor (2.2/7) was down 12% among 18-49s from its season high of last week, while Castle (0.9/3) took an 18% drop.

On NBC, Superstore (1.2/4) and Telenovela (0.7/2) declined 14% and 22%, respectively. A two-hour The Biggest Loser (0.9/3) was down 18% from its February 8 episode. The CW showed a special and soft Mortal Kombat X: Machinima’s Chasing The Cup (0.3/1).

PREVIOUS, 6:24 AM: The 58th annual Grammy Awards saw big wins last night for Taylor Swift, Broadway’s Hamilton and the Alabama Shakes, a highly charged political performance from Best Rap Album recipient Kendrick Lamar and tributes to Lionel Richie and David Bowie. On a Monday for the first time and aired live on both coasts, the CBS- hosted music industry shindig also saw steady and strong ratings.

Kendrick Lamar Grammy Awards 2016In metered market results, the LL Cool J fronted 8 PM – 11:31 PM ET show from L.A.’s Staples Center scored a 16.1/25. That’s a dip of just 3.5% from the metered market results of the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, which aired on February 8 last year, a Sunday. The strong part of those Grammy ratings were that CBS saw its Monday ratings from a year ago jump 184% in MM results for what will certainly be an easy win for the night.

Of course, those close MM numbers could be hinting at some Grammy hurt or help.

Facing the Season 5 midseason return of demo catnip The Walking Dead plus the then-cable busting debut of the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul on AMC, the 2015 Grammys ended up hitting a six-year low both among both adults 18-49 and viewership. Unlike last year, the Grammys last night also faced a full primetime schedule of originals on ABC, NBC and Fox including The Bachelor and the second-to-last episode of The X-Files revival. Additionally, the Season 2 premiere of Better Call Saul was last night as well.

Having said that, a temporary move to a Monday certainly didn’t hurt the Emmys back in 2014. Broadcast on August 25 that year on NBC, the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards drew in an audience of 15.6 million viewers. That was its second-best viewership in 8-years behind the 2013 ceremony with its NFL lead-in – which was also how the 2014 Emmys did in metered market results. In the key 18-49 demo, the Monday-slotted Emmys had a 4.2 rating, its second biggest return in the previous 7-years. Back on a September Sunday in 2015 and facing Sunday Night Football and more, the Fox hosted 67th Primetime Emmy Awards took a double-digit decline from their Monday predecessor.

We’ll update with more Grammy ratings and the rest of the night’s offerings as we get the numbers.

  1. I turned this show off after 1 hour. Although I love that it’s primarily focused on actual performances – I couldn’t stomach the over-excited Taylor.

    1. Disappointing show for sure. But, I guess Taylor doesn’t care about those who can’t “stomach” her genuine happiness for each and every artist over there. She’s just happy you know? For everyone. Let’s leave it at that.

      P.S: I know because I’m also the kinda person who goes around being excited about everyone’s achievements.

    1. Since political correctness and has taken over the entertainment industry, it’s no longer about talent, it’s about making sure everyone gets participation trophies like little league baseball.

  2. The Grammy’s represent the best in “Music” There is no more good music and even young folks are starting to realize it, This chick Adele really and truly sucked. She and CBS can blame mic problems all they want but that doesn’t make you sing off key in addition to yelling lyrics.Don’t and have never seen the attraction.
    Rap is finally seen for what it is.

    1. Music today is about the music video and not about performing live on a stage as evidenced by how awful these supposedly “talented” singers are when they get up on a stage in front of an audience and embarrass themselves.

      1. Only reason I watched a few minutes was to see the Glenn Frye tribute. Frye had more talent in his left index finger than all of today’s musical clowns put together.

        1. Absolutely correct ! Jackson Browne and the elderly Eagles blew away all the over produced and under talented flotsam that was broadcast.

    2. The crowd screaming music sucks today is just too old to find new music relatable. The music you love is attached to memories and riddled with nostalgia. Pop music of any period has always been littered with catchy forgettable artist. You’ve always had to dig for truly good music, with the exception of the globally known superstars. Those aspects of music have never changed, you, however have grown older.

      You don’t listen to rap and never had an interest in it, but it’s literally poetry set to music. What gets me is the assertion that your opinion is somehow to be taken as fact. To Pimp A Butterfly was high on the list for album of the year and is in fact, a rap album also neo-soul and jazz. Time magazine, BBC, Pitchfork, Rolling Stones and so many more rated it as one of the best albums we’ve had in decades. Your statement is so ignorant it hurts. It’s not surprising though, you’re judging an entire genre of music based on minimal exposure. You probably do the same thing with race, age, and gender.

  3. The Grammy’s are not interesting because the music is formulaic autotuned computerized pop garbage.

  4. The grammy’s are even less a valid award than the Nobel Peace Prize (which, clearly, they’ll give to anyone for anything).

  5. Some people ruin everything they touch. 6000 years and the mark of Cain continues to destroy everything they touch….

    1. Holocaust, Internment Camps, Crusades, Multitudes of Genocides, and you want to say that blacks ruin everything they touch?

      They build this country with free labor, they sure as hell touched it and you seem to be enjoying it just fine from your ivory tower.

  6. Not exciting anymore. Anyone who has or had any originality is either dead or over 65. The music industry is BORING that’s why viewership is down and will continue to be as long as the mainstream record industry keeps playing safe bets with the American Idol cutouts that exist today.

  7. I don’t watch anything that preaches liberalism to me. Why would I want to rot my brain like that?

  8. The music industry is BORING that’s why viewership is down and will continue to be as long as record companies keep playing safe bets with these bland “American Idol” type cutouts that they prop up today. Anyone who has any artistic musical integrity today is either 65 and over or dead.

  9. The Grammys have become little more that stage for Keyne West to stumble in and take his annual public defecation on.

  10. Its not a Monday versus Sunday issue. I think many are tired of the racial, political orientation of the awards following on the racially divisive Super Bowl halftime show. And of course Rap is just a graphic representation of culture and society in decline.

  11. Why would anyone watch?
    There are a lot of other stuff that is more entertaining for those who can’t read.

  12. I don’t understand why anyone watches any of the awards shows.
    There are plenty of other shows to watch, for those who can’t read.

  13. I wish there were a music show of all the great unsigned singer-songwriters who actually write songs with stories and inspire and motivate people to think. I know, I know….it is too much to ask. But, last night brought to mind the last verse of Chet Nichols’ great song, “Walking In Circles”;
    “The altars are clogged with wannabees
    Directing paparazzi, “Look at me, me, me”
    As, the promo machine spins round and round
    It announces the demons sent to clean up the town”
    In fact that whole song is a live photo shoot of what is happening in our culture.

    Anyway, last night’s Grammy’s was slow, tired and had no heart or soul. JJ Cool, needs to be put out to pasture. The production issues especially during Adele’s song are inexcusable….the list goes on. I guess it all comes down to fact that they show was mostly hype and short on substance. If The Academy is going to fix it, they have to start with fixing these issues first.

  14. What a joke. The ONLY reason I recorded this was to see the highly anticipated tribute to one of the greatest musicians ever, Glen Frey and also David Bowie and what did I see. One song by the Eagles (which was great, but wanted a lot more) and a girl who looked like she was overdosing trying to sing a Bowie song (which was pathetic) but lasted a lot longer than the Frey. This is why I never watch these shows anymore. JUST PATHETIC.

  15. How many more trophies does Taylor Swift need, “Oh thank you, I’m so surprised that you have given me this 18 Grammy, I’ll treasure it along with all the others”

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