The 2021 Grammys Had Less Than Half As Many Viewers As Last Year’s Ceremony

Between the pandemic and the barrage of artists criticizing them, the past few months have presented challenges to the Recording Academy. Despite all the hurdles they faced, though, they managed to put on a Grammys broadcast this year that was imperfect but still quite entertaining and about as good as could be done given the circumstances.

As was probably expected, the broadcast had fewer viewers than usual, as has been typical with big events during the pandemic; This year’s Super Bowl had its lowest ratings in over a decade. The Grammys also experienced a drop-off and it was significant.

Variety reports that per Nielsen Live+Same Day fast-affiliate numbers, the show had an average of 7.88 million viewers, earning a 1.9 rating with adults 18 to 49. That makes this year’s show the lowest-rated in Grammy history. For reference, last year’s Grammys managed to draw 18.7 million viewers and achieve a 5.4 rating in the aforementioned demographic.

The publication also notes that these numbers are not final and that final figures that take into account live West Coast viewing will be available soon. With that in mind, the final figure is expected to rise by about 15 to 20 percent in the official national ratings. That said, even if the 7.88 million viewer count rises by 20 percent (the generous end of the estimate), that would elevate it to about 9.46 million viewers, which is still around half of the count of 2020 Grammy viewers.