Golden Globes viewership continues rapid decline

On the one hand, the ratings were only marginally worse compared with the last telecast of the Golden Globes.

On the other hand, viewership for the awards show has officially collapsed from the highs of the past decade.

The Globes drew an audience of 6.3 million people Tuesday night, only slightly fewer than the pared-down ceremony of 2021 because of the pandemic but down drastically from the 18 million who watched it in 2020 — the last time the ceremony was in early January.

The Globes had plenty going against it. The entertainment industry turned its back on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the group that organizes the Globes — amid an ethics and diversity scandal that unfolded two years ago; NBC refused to broadcast last year’s ceremony because of the backlash. After a series of changes by the press association, Hollywood and NBC warily welcomed the show back, though the broadcast network agreed to only a one-year deal to air it.

Reviews for Tuesday’s ceremony, which was hosted by Jerrod Carmichael, were mostly warm. Vulture called it “great live TV,” and The New Yorker praised it as “fizzy and fun.”

The viewership totals, however, are another matter.

From 2010 to 2020, the Globes reliably averaged 17 million to 20 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

In 2019, the Globes were within 5 million viewers of the Academy Awards viewership totals, raising the possibility that it could soon become the most-watched awards show.

Then the Globes was hit by a one-two punch — the pandemic and its own scandal. Tuesday’s viewership was the lowest since NBC started broadcasting the awards show in 1996. And worse, the Globes now finds itself in the same dreary ratings neighborhood as the Emmy Awards. Last year, only 5.9 million tuned in to watch the Emmys.

It did not help that this year’s Globes ceremony was on a Tuesday. Because the NFL added an additional week to its regular season in 2021, the Sunday time slot in early January that the Globes used to occupy now belongs to NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” — so this year’s ceremony was tossed to a weeknight when fewer viewers are watching television.

It is unknown where the Globes will air next year. NBC could very well walk away from the show, which it pays $60 million a year to air.

It is also possible a streaming service like Amazon or Netflix, both of which are increasingly dabbling with live rights, could become interested parties. Netflix announced Wednesday that it would take over the broadcast rights for the Screen Actors Guild Awards next year, a ceremony that used to broadcast on TNT. And Amazon just completed its first year as the broadcaster of “Thursday Night Football.”

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