It was bound to be a tough go for the CMA Awards. Facing a record-smashing World Series, one expected to bring in roughly 40 million viewers once final ratings come in, the ABC telecast logged all-time lows.
But the CMAs, highlighted by a collaboration between Beyonce and one country music pariah, still brought in more-than-respectable hauls. Three-hour coverage averaged a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.8 million viewers. That’s off nearly a full ratings point in the key demo from last year. But, all told, the show was off by less than 1 million viewers — pretty respectable considering the ratings obstacle.
NBC didn’t even bother airing original programming against the big game. The network scheduled repeats, while CBS only offered one original outing with Survivor. It was expectedly low — very low, in fact — earning just a 1.5 rating in the key demo and 6.8 million viewers.
The CW, never one to miss an opportunity to counter-program, had new episodes of Arrow (0.6 adults) and Frequency (0.3 adults).
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.