The Grammy Awards narrowly avoided setting a second straight all-time ratings low.
The 64th annual Grammys on Sunday drew 9.59 million viewers in the final same-day ratings, which include out-of-home viewing. (Earlier figures from Nielsen, which didn’t have the out-of-home number, had the show at 8.93 million viewers.) That’s an increase of about 4 percent from last year, which were an all-time low for the awards. The 2021 ceremony was a pared-down affair due to the pandemic, while this year’s show — postponed from January due to the surge in the omicron variant of the coronavirus — more resembled past shows.
The 2021 Grammys came in at 9.23 million viewers in the finals last year, down by more than half from their last pre-pandemic telecast in January 2020.
Among adults 18-49, Sunday’s broadcast earned a 2.24 rating — which is an all-time low for the second straight year. The Grammys fell by 2 percent from last year’s 2.28 rating; the four-hundredths of a point equates to about 52,000 people in that age range
The tiny uptick in viewers for the Grammys comes on the heels of the Oscars recording much bigger year-over-year ratings growth a week earlier. The Oscars grew 60 percent in total viewers and 77 percent among adults 18-49, though like the Grammys they did not come close to their pre-pandemic standards.
Ratings for the Grammys mirror those of a couple other recent music awards shows. The American Music Awards posted slight gains in both total viewers and adults 18-49 for ABC last fall, and the CMA Awards (also on ABC) edged up in the 18-49 demo but were down slightly in total viewers.
The Oscars, along with the Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild awards and last fall’s Emmys, all had larger year-to-year gains.
Elsewhere over the weekend, Turner Sports got a big tune-in for the NCAA men’s Final Four game between North Carolina and Duke. The Saturday night contest averaged 17.66 million viewers across TBS, TNT and TruTV, making it the third-most-watched college basketball game ever on cable, behind a 2015 Final Four game (22.63 million) and the 2016 national championship (17.75 million). Saturday’s early game between Kansas and Villanova averaged 11.7 million viewers.
On Sunday night, ESPN and ESPN2’s telecast of the women’s NCAA basketball championship drew 4.68 million viewers, up 15 percent from a year ago and the best mark for the women’s title game since 2004 (though prior to last year, Nielsen figures don’t include out-of-home viewing).
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.