Apr 4, 2022 - Economy

Grammys ratings up slightly from last year's record low

Olivia Rodrigo performs during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Nearly 9 million people tuned into the Grammys on CBS on Sunday evening, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings reported by Variety, a very slight improvement from last year's pandemic low.

Why it matters: Prior to the pandemic, the Grammys had never seen a show drop below 20 million live viewers.

Details: With over a dozen live performances packed into a 3.5 hour event, Sunday's show — which also aired live Sunday on Paramount+ — felt more like an extended concert than a buzzy awards show.

  • With more music and less talking, the Grammys avoided the kind of drama that sucked up all of the attention at last week's Oscars.
  • Perhaps the most talked-about moment of the evening was a surprise pre-recorded video from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he delivered an emotional address to Americans, urging them not to stay silent about the war.

The big picture: The Grammys live TV audience has been in decline for years, but hit a new low last year during the pandemic. This year's event, which had the benefit of a live audience and fewer COVID restrictions, couldn't reverse the downward trend.

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