The annual extravaganza's programming slot from 11:30 p.m. to 1:09 a.m. reached 25.6 million viewers.
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve's live broadcast of the Times Square Ball Drop in New York City might have been frigid on Sunday night with temperatures dropping to nine degrees Fahrenheit, but the ratings were red hot. The annual extravaganza hosted by Ryan Seacrest saw its biggest overall audience in at least 27 years, welcoming 25.6 million viewers with an 8.2 rating among adults 18-49 (10.6 million) during its late-night part 1 programming slot from 11:30 p.m. to 1:09 a.m., according to data by The Nielsen Company provided by ABC.
The ratings were high enough to best last year's Grammy Awards telecast, which aired on CBS last February, making it the top music special of 2017.
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve debuted in 1972 on NBC and has aired on ABC since 1974. The reported late-night part 1 data marks the largest audience since the start of Nielsen’s electronic database in September 1991. Year-over-year, the program's late-night part 1 slot grew by 5.3 million viewers since last year, with a 26 percent increase in adults 18-49 specifically.