Grammy Awards Draw 24.9M Viewers; Lowest Audience Since 2009

Taylor Swift Grammy Awards

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.

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