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TV Ratings: Grammy Awards SINK to New Lows in Early Numbers

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TV Ratings: Grammy Awards Hit New Lows in Early Numbers

By Variety, March 15, 2021

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by South African comedian Trevor Noah and boasting powerhouse performers Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Dua LipaBTS, Billie Eilish, Post Malone and Megan Thee Stallion, drew a scant audience for CBS. This year’s telecast was the lowest-rated in Grammys history in the early numbers.

Per Nielsen Live+Same Day fast-affiliate numbers, Music’s Biggest Night garnered an average of 7.88 million viewers for the network during the ceremony’s broadcast on Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET with a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49.

Final numbers that take into account live West Coast viewing should be made available later today or early tomorrow morning. Stats will likely rise by 15-20% in the official national ratings after time-zone adjustment.

In comparison, the time-zone adjusted fast national charts for 2020’s Grammy Awards drew a 5.4 rating in the key demo and 18.7 million viewers. The 2019 Grammy Awards drew a 5.6 rating and 19.9 million viewers. The least-watched Grammys was the host-less awards ceremony in 2006, which snagged 17 million viewers. Nevertheless, this year’s telecast was still the highest-rated broadcast of the night.

The primetime ceremony had an impressive lineup featuring over 22 musicians, including Bad Bunny, Black Pumas, Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Mickey Guyton, Haim, Brittany Howard, Miranda Lambert, Lil Baby, Chris Martin, John Mayer, Maren Morris and Roddy Ricch. The stars performed throughout the night in a mix of live and pre-recorded sets taking place from four stages surrounded by the ceremony’s talent, nominees and guests. A fifth stage was used by the show’s presenters, many of whom were independent music venue personnel from the Apollo in New York, the Station Inn in Nashville and the Troubadour and Hotel Café in Los Angeles.

Originally set for Jan. 31 to kick off awards season, the 2021 Grammy Awards were rescheduled due to the fraught state of Los Angeles at the time as the city and county contended with an unprecedented COVID-19 winter case count surge.

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