It looks like Sunday night football is more interesting than the Emmy Award ceremony to viewers. The Nielsen data for the 2022 Emmys on NBC is in and it’s not looking good for TV’s biggest night. The awards show was down 25% from last year in total viewers and hit a new record low in rating. With its estimated audience of 5.9 million people, it turned out to be even smaller than the COVID-19-disrupted ceremony two years ago.
On Monday, the Kenan Thompson-hosted 74th Emmy Awards had a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49, the lowest-ever key demo stat for the Emmys. The previous record low was set by the 2020 show, which aired on ABC, and settled for a 1.3 rating. The following year, the Emmys rebounded to a 1.9.
Last night’s show drew 5.9 million total viewers compared with last year’s outing on CBS, which netted 7.9 million. That’s a new low and in stark contrast to the 2021 show, which marked a reversal in the Emmys’ steady decline in audience size. Last year’s Emmys saw a 16% gain of viewership over 2020’s historic drop-off of 12% with 6.37 million viewers.
The Nielsen company said the ceremony honoring television’s best work, where “Ted Lasso” was named best comedy and “Succession” best drama, was down from the 7.4 million people who watched in 2021.
Usually shown on a Sunday night, the Emmys were shifted to Monday to make way for NBC’s first “Sunday Night Football” game the night before. It couldn’t escape football, however, since it still competed against a tight “Monday Night Football” game.
The previous low point for the Emmys, with 6.1 million people, came with a drastically downsized show because of the pandemic in 2020.
While football had its impact, Emmys ratings have been on a steady slide since the awards began to be dominated by shows on cable and streaming services. With so many more television programs being offered, there are fewer that draw the big audiences that were routine in the days when broadcast television dominated.
The last time the Emmys exceeded 10 million viewers was 2018, when it reached an audience of 10.2 million. The Emmys had 21.8 million viewers in 2000, a level it will probably never reach again.
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