Grammys draw smallest U.S. TV audience since 2009

Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:17pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The nearly 25 million U.S. viewers who watched CBS Corp's televised Grammy Awards ceremony this year was the smallest audience in seven years for music's biggest night.

Out of the 24.95 million viewers who watched Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars take top honors, 9.7 million were in the 18-49 demographic coveted by advertisers, CBS said on Tuesday, citing figures from Nielsen.

But the overall number dipped from last year's 25.3 million viewers, which was the smallest TV audience since 2009's 19.1 million viewers.

CBS said the Grammys viewership was the largest audience for any entertainment program this season. The figures do not count the Super Bowl, a sporting event, which drew nearly 112 million viewers on Feb. 7, the most-watched show on U.S. television.

The Grammys come ahead of the annual Oscars ceremony later this month, Hollywood's biggest night and typically the most-watched entertainment event, drawing more than 36 million U.S. viewers last year. Walt Disney's ABC television network will broadcast this year's Academy Awards.

CBS said the live stream of the Grammys show on its digital subscription service, CBS All Access, saw its largest audience ever, but did not release the actual viewership figures.

On social media, the Grammys dominated the conversation on Monday night, with 17.2 million tweets mentioning the show, Twitter said. Sheeran's win for song of the year was the most-tweeted moment, followed by rapper Kendrick Lamar's performance, which offered a powerful commentary on racial issues.

Facebook said 21 million people engaged in more than 50 million interactions about the show, and Lady Gaga's colorful tribute to late singer David Bowie was the most talked-about moment.   Continued...

Lady Gaga is tied with a rope as she performs a medley of songs as a tribute to the late David Bowie. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni