Viewer erosion is taking a toll on the high-end awards shows, which previously were able to parlay their live event status into solid ratings.
“Over the last two years, these shows have started to lose their ratings luster,” The New York Times reports. “The Academy Awards this year hit an eight-year low in viewership. The Grammys hit a seven-year low. The Golden Globes have shed about 2.5 million viewers in the last two years. Last year, the Emmys broadcast had its lowest ratings ever.”
Viewer numbers have also dipped for the ESPYs, the American Music Awards, the Country Music Awards , the Billboard Music Awards and MTV’s Video Music Awards, The Times notes.
“Trying to buck this recent trend on Sunday will be the Emmys, which will be broadcast on ABC and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel,” The Times reports. “Executives in the television industry are aware of the declines and are wondering if they are part of the cyclical rise and fall of awards shows, or if people’s ever-changing viewing habits are finally affecting the ratings for these three- to four-hour, commercial-loaded TV events.”
ABC has been giving the Emmys broadcast a big promotional push, with Kimmel’s late-night show and the network’s daytime show “Good Morning America” playing key roles.
But with the TV landscape becoming increasingly spread out through digital distribution, insiders are becoming concerned about the big TV gala slipping in stature.
Emmys producer Don Mischer is quoted in the report saying: “As we’ve gone through time, there is so much more content available that the pieces of the pie are getting smaller and smaller.”
According to one theory, “at a time when services like Netflix provide programming without commercials, the prospect of watching a prolonged awards show riddled with ads seems like too much to endure,” The Times notes.
We encourage readers to click on the link to The Times near the top of this story to read the full analysis.