World’s most-watched events record lowest audience turnouts in history


While the suspension of in-person conferences, global events, activations, and trade shows have been devastating for many industries, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed another awards show ratings casualty.

Although the pandemic caused many events around the world to be cancelled or postponed due to regulations and government-imposed restrictions of large gatherings, the level of adoption, use, attendance, and satisfaction with the “online” or “virtual” events to replace the in-person has proven that the world could successfully manage; but there is one problem, the drastic decline in ratings for the world’s most-watched shows, from sporting events to global award shows.

The 2021 Grammy’s which aired on Sunday, 14th March drew just 8.8 million total viewers, a 53% drop from the 2020 audience of 18.7 million. Nigeria’s Afrobeats stars, Burna Boy and Wizkid both won awards at the the 63rd edition of the Grammy Awards. The Grammy’s, traditionally referred as the world’s biggest Music Awards night recorded its least watched show in history. The numbers include viewers who watched the linear broadcast and streamed it via, the CBS app or Paramount+.

In comparison, the time-zone adjusted fast national charts for 2020’s Grammy Awards drew a 5.4 rating in the key demo and 18.7 million viewers. The 2019 Grammy Awards drew a 5.6 rating and 19.9 million viewers. The least-watched Grammys was the host-less awards ceremony in 2006, which snagged 17 million viewers.

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the show from its usual date in early February and safety protocols prevented the ceremony from being held in front of a large live audience. Such constraints have been a factor in the significant declines in audience television awards shows have seen over the last year, as both the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards dropped to historic lows.

According to reports from Nielsen, Super Bowl, the most-streamed game ever, saw its viewership drop to a multi-decade low. The Super Bowl is traditionally the most watched event on TV. But this year’s viewership was down considerably from last year’s game, which had an average of 101 million viewers across multiple channels and streaming outlets. The big game had a total audience of 92 million viewers on CBS.



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