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Golden Globes Was a Ratings Loser

Viewers' enthusiasm for the awards show was muted
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2021 3:24 PM CST

(Newser) – The Academy Awards and Grammys are coming up, and as far as TV ratings go, the bar has been dramatically lowered. Ratings tanked for Sunday's Golden Globes broadcast. The average audience came in at 6.9 million, Vulture reports, compared to 18.3 million in 2020. The numbers have fallen for awards shows generally during the pandemic, but NBC had promoted the Golden Globes heavily and brought back Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for the fourth time to host. For its trouble, the network got the least-watched Golden Globes show in years. The 2008 broadcast drew 6.03 million viewers, per Deadline, and it was just a press conference because a writers' strike was on. Adding to NBC's pain is the fact that it pays $60 million a year in a long-term deal for the broadcast rights, something like 6 times what the Emmys cost.

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Other factors were no help to the ratings. The show had to go without its usual helpful lead-in, an NFL game. Although there were moving moments, technical problems—as nominees appeared remotely on screens—made the show trying for viewers. There were few blockbusters to draw interest. The sponsoring Hollywood Foreign Press Association is facing criticism on several fronts, per CNBC, and some winners took shots at the group in their acceptance speeches. Poehler and Fey joined in. Still, after all that NBC hype, CBS drew 6.5 million Sunday night with The Equalizer and a couple of its NCIS spinoffs. Overall, 60 Minutes was the uncontested winner, with 7.9 million watching. ABC will have the Oscars on April 25, per the Los Angeles Times, a broadcast that will have to deal with many of the same issues. (Read more Golden Globes stories.)

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