The Tony Awards aired last night on CBS. The early returns on data for the Broadway awards show have it indicating a slight uptick in ratings from the 2017 edition.
Award shows as a rule have seen declining viewership over the years. As with most family-centered “appointment TV”, the rise of DVRs, cord-cutting households, and OnDemand viewing families have taken their toll on what used to be a time to gather around the TV to compare who won with your pick in the individual categories.
The Tony’s were not even the most watched show last night, CBS’ 60 Minutes outperformed it by 25%, however the initial 4.8 overnight rating was nothing to scoff at.
But what about other award shows? During the first months of 2018, TV’s three biggest awards shows — the Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes — lost 14 million viewers between them, which is a whopping 18 percent decrease from their collective haul the preceding year.
TV executives have blamed the change in viewership habits, but have also pointed out controversies in the media world like sexual harassment fallouts from the likes of Harvey Weinstein, and even the lack of mainstream movies featured in award categories that could also shoulder some of the blame.
Even with ratings and viewership drops, the major networks see the award shows as an important part of their broadcast television lineup. ABC has the Oscars locked up until 2028, and CBS will host the Grammys through 2026.
An interesting infographic from The Hollywood Reporter illustrates how Oscars viewership and ratings have taken a fall.

IMAGES SOURCE:  The Hollywood Reporter

So do you still tune in to see who the award goes to? Do your clients still see the value in advertising placements during these big name events? How will you respond with buys in the 2019 award season?  Any way you decide to behave as a media buyer or media planner, “the show must go on”.