Ratings for awards shows and big events have been impressive this year but it looks like the streak may have finally ended with last night’s Academy of Country Music Awards. Though the three-hour extravaganza from Las Vegas, Nev. won its timeslot in viewers (13.05 million) and adults 18-49 (2.1 rating/7 share), it appears to be this season’s first awards show to actually post declines: It was down 12 percent in viewers and down 16 percent in adults 18-49, according to ratings provided by CBS. (To be fair, last year’s ACMs were the highest since 1998 and ran against repeats.) Last night’s show, which was up against originals, still won its timeslot among homes, adults 25-54 (4.2/10) and adults 18-34 (2.1/07).
Ratings for kudos fests and big events have surged this year: It started with the Emmys last September, which rose 9 percent from the previous year, and stretched to the World Series on Fox. (Averaging 19.4 million, it was the most watched Fall Classic in five years.) Recording industry events like the Country Music Awards (up 7 percent) and the American Music Awards (up 17 percent), both in November, kept the momentum going into January, when the People’s Choice Awards and the Grammys saw substantial growth (up 15 percent and 36 percent, respectively). NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics got off to a golden start, with 129 million people watching the first four days. But the whopper was the record set by January’s Super Bowl: With 106.5 million viewers, it was the most watched television program ever.
Also, on March 7, the Academy Awards drew an average audience of 41.3 million viewers — Oscar’s best performance in five years.