TV Ratings: Emmys Hit All-Time Low for Second Straight Year

JIMMY KIMMEL - Emmys 2020 - Host

For the second year in a row, the Primetime Emmy Awards have hit an all-time low in TV viewership.

Time zone-adjusted Nielsen numbers for ABC's live broadcast of the 72nd annual awards have the show drawing 6.1 million viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49; those figures adjusted up to 6.36 million and 1.3 in the finals, which include out of home viewing. The previous low was set a year ago, when Fox had just underĀ 7 million viewers and a 1.7 in the key ad demographic in the finals.

Final ratings for Sunday's telecast was down by about 9 percent year to year in total viewers, and by 23.5 percent in the 18-49 demo.

Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the live Emmy broadcast featured a handful of in-person appearances with Kimmel at L.A.'s Staples Center and remote acceptance speeches from winners, along with Emmy statuettes delivered to winners at their homes. Pop TV's Schitt's Creek, which swept the comedy categories, and HBO's Succession and Watchmen were the big winners.

The downward slide for the Emmys isn't a huge surprise. Broadcast viewing in general is down, and most awards shows this year have turned in smaller ratings than in 2019. The Emmy ceremony aired opposite both an NFL game (which happens every year NBC isn't carrying the awards) and an NBA playoff contest on TNT.

NBC's Sunday Night Football was the runaway leader in the final ratings with 17.69 million viewers, up a tiny bit from 17.64 million for week two in 2019, and a 5.2 rating among adults 18-49. Game two of the NBA Western Conference finals brought in 3.17 million viewers for TNT and matched the Emmys' 1.3 in the 18-49 demo.

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Sept. 21, 10:30 a.m. Updated with time zone-adjusted ratings for the Emmys.

Sept. 22, 8:20 a.m. Updated with final ratings numbers for Sunday.