Emmy Awards 2016: Ratings Hit All-Time Low with 11.3 Million Viewers

     September 19, 2016

Were you one of the people watching the Emmys on Sunday night, or were you watching football with everyone else in America? Because, as it turns out, not that many people were watching ABC’s coverage of the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

According to Variety, the Emmy Awards garnered 11.3 million viewers, marking an all-time low in viewership. Last year, the show hosted by SNL veteran Andy Samberg drew in 11.9 million, but it’s really been declining in the past three years. It hit an eight-year high with 17.6 million viewers in 2013 when Neil Patrick Harris hosted for CBS.

Does this mean people don’t care about the Emmys anymore? Let’s look at how other award shows faired in 2016 before answering that:

neil-patrick-harris-emmysThe Grammys in February aired live on both coasts and garnered 25 million viewers, the lowest for the awards in the last six years. MTV’s Video Music Awards went from just under 10 million viewers in 2015 to 6.5 million in 2016. The Oscars dropped 2% from last year with 34.4 million viewers, though it still didn’t boost the show’s audience back to where it used to be eight years ago.

I don’t think the Emmys’ dip marks any disinterest in the show itself, but perhaps its evidence of how viewers at home consume the content. Rather than throwing Emmys parties with print-out ballots and the like, award shows seem to be losing their luster. Social media has changed the game—people can skim the major moments the morning after on their morning commutes or while drinking coffee—and the same goes for YouTube: ABC posted video clips of some of the highlights (such as Kimmel’s opening sketch and his bit with Matt Damon) on the platform mere minutes after they happened on TV.

Speaking of, check out our coverage here.


Image via the Television Academy