UPDATED, 1:12 PM: The 2020 Grammy Awards were dominated last night by collaboration performances, tributes to Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle and Billie Eilish triple-threat wins. Yet music’s biggest night has become a smaller affair, again.
Now that the final numbers are in, it is clear that the decline of the scandal-mired Record Academy’s ceremony has continued for another year to a new low in the key advertiser demographic.
Pulling in 5.4 among adults 18-49 and 18.7 million viewers, the three-hour-plus CBS-aired show took a small tumble from 2019’s ceremony, which Alicia Keys also hosted. Specifically that’s a 4% drop in the key demo for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards from last year’s previous low. While not reaching the all-time audience low of 2006’s 17 million, the 2019 Grammys were down 6% from the TV audience that tuned in for the 61st annual Grammys.
As Lizzo’s Best Pop Solo Performance winning song says: truth hurts.
PREVIOUSLY: 8:22 AM The shocking death of Kobe Bryant on Sunday cast a shadow over the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night, but America and some of the biggest artists around came to celebrate the NBA legend on music’s biggest night.
Starting with the first of many mentions of the retired L.A. Lakers start it was a night of big wins for Billie Eilish, DJ Khaled, Lizzo and Tyler, The Creator, Rosalia, Gary Clark Jr, and powerful tributes to Bryant and Nipsey Hussle.
On a night of mainly encores on other networks, the Alicia Keys-hosted CBS broadcast from Staples Center in Los Angeles also scored a 4.7 among adults 18-49 and 16.5 million viewers. Now, those are unadjusted fast affiliates and certainly will change when the final numbers come out in the next few hours.
However, right now, amidst continuing controversy in the Recording Academy board room, the 62nd annual Grammys telecast is down 5% in the key demo from last year’s all-time ratings low. Looking at the set of eyeballs who tuned in, the 2020 Grammys slipped 7% for the ViacomCBS network compared with its 2019 fast affiliate viewership.
Sliding to an 18-49 low of 5.6/22 and essentially steady with 2018 in total audience, last year’s Grammys ceremony ended up with a total audience of 19.9 million.
With the Grammys airing, the other networks were filled with reruns with the exception of the ABC special Kobe Bryant: The Death of a Legend (0.5, 2.46M), which shined a light on the recent tragic death of the sports icon.
At the CW, it was business as usual with their comic book series lineup with Batwoman (0.2, 870,000) and Supergirl (0.2, 970,000), which both held steady with last week’s numbers.
Overall, in the early numbers, CBS easily won the night Sunday with a 4.1 rating and 15 million viewers in the 7-11 PM primetime slot.
We will update with final ratings on the over three-plus-hour 2020 Grammys as soon as we have them.