TV Ratings: Grammys Grow to 26 Million Viewers, Topping Previous 2 Telecasts

The CBS show, featuring Adele and Beyonce, is improved across the board from 2016.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Beyonce performs during the 59th Grammy Awards.

With no shortage of star power, the 2017 Grammys dominated the dial Sunday night — providing broadcast TV another destination live telecast on the heels of last week's Super Bowl.

Viewership and ratings for the CBS telecast were up from 2016, averaging just north of 26 million viewers and earning a 7.8 rating among adults 18-49. Contrary to the early metered market returns, both of those stats mark modest improvements from the previous telecast — with viewership up 4 percent and the key demo up 1 percent. (Previously, metered market household ratings had the show down 1 percent from last year.)

This year's Grammys, up more than 1 million viewers in raw numbers, marked a return to Sunday for the show — and a new host. The 2016 telecast took place on a Monday, to accommodate the long President's Day weekend, and marked the end of LL Cool J's five-year stint as master of ceremonies. CBS sidelined the NCIS: Los Angeles star for current musical golden boy James Corden. The Late Late Show host stepped into the role this year after a successful go at the Tonys in 2016.

Though the Grammys have held remarkably steady for the last four years, the 2016 telecast technically ranked as a seven-year low for the annual kudos and performance extravaganza. Still, "music's biggest night" is also one of TV's — regularly ranking behind only the Oscars, the NFL and a few marquee sporting events on the list of most-watched and highest-rated telecasts.

It's more good news for networks with awards-show rights. Growth for the Grammys follows growth for both the Golden Globe Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Especially good for CBS is the network's digital play. CBS All Access, the broadcaster's OTT subscription service, broke a record for daily sign-ups and saw total time spent nearly double from the 2016 Grammys. 

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