The Grammys, packed with high-profile musical performances, still couldn’t shake the TV ratings trend for major awards programming.
The final same-day numbers for this past Sunday’s telecast indicate the Grammys drew an audience of 9.69 million. So it’s true, those numbers were a plus, but only in comparison to 2021.
Last year’s Grammys TV ratings were an all-time low, scrape the bottom kind of numbers. The total audience was 9.23 million. That was about half the size of the 2020 audience when no one was thinking about Covid. Still, for the 2021 show, organizers needed to work around pandemic restrictions. So they tightened the show, with a limited audience gathered at a small outdoor venue.
The pandemic did hamper this year’s event. When the Omicron variant surged in late December/early January, the Grammys were pushed back to March and switched from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. And with Vegas as a backdrop, the show returned to its large and gaudy self. The bump in ratings was meager. Try 4 percent.
And you can look at another TV ratings number from the Grammys that’s still trending poorly. Advertisers covet the 18 to 49 demographic. The Grammys drew a 2.24. That was an all-time low. The previous low was 2.28 in 2021. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the difference of .04 of a point represented about 52,000 from the 18 to 49 set.
CBS broadcast the Grammys. The other significant event that night was the NCAA women’s basketball championship game between Connecticut and South Carolina. About 4.7 million fans watched the Gamecocks beat U Conn. That was a 15 percent jump from 2021. It also was the biggest audience to watch a women’s championship since 2004.
Still, whether people watched or not, the Grammys put on a high octane show that dazzled with live music for more than three hours.
Jon Batiste was the big winner Sunday, earning five Grammys. He charmed and inspired with his acceptance speech for Best Album.
“I believe this to my core,” Batiste said. “There is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor. The creative arts are subjective, and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most. It’s like a song or an album is made and it’s almost like it has a radar to find the person when they need it the most.”
Outsiders, no doubt, were watching out for their favorite country artists. Chris Stapleton was the big winner. He won two awards in the pre-ceremony for best country song (Cold) and solo performance (You Should Probably Leave). Then during the big awards, he added a third trophy for best country album (Starting Over).
Stapleton also performed Cold.
Brothers Osborne, which won the Grammy for best performance by a country duo or group closed the Grammy telecast, with an intense Dead Man’s Curve.