Sunday’s Grammy Awards promised a battle of two music superstars as Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars faced off for top honors. Just under 20 million viewers tuned in to CBS to find out who would win (Mars swept the big three races). That is off by more than 6 million from last year’s Grammys when Adele trounced Beyonce.
Perhaps it was the move to late January from the traditional mid February slot that saw viewership drop by a whopping 25% this year. The recording academy bumped its annual award show up on the calendar to avoid going head-to-head with the Winter Olympics on NBC.
The kudocast registered an anemic 5.9 rating in the ad-friendly 18-49 demo; last year’s figure for the Sunday Feb. 13 telecast was 7.8 and that was opposite AMC’s monster hit “The Walking Dead.” In 2016 the Grammys aired on a Monday (Feb. 15) and drew just under 25 million; that was the second-lowest audience ever.
This year’s tally comes perilously close to the basement set by the 2009 Grammy Awards, which drew the attention of only 19 million viewers.