Televised awards shows tend to open softly and then peak between 8:30PM and 10:30PM. Opening the 8-11PM Billboard Music Awards broadcast with Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video did not disrupt that usual trajectory. The 8-8:30PM half hour was by far the lowest-rated and least-watched portion of the broadcast.
When it comes to the adults 18-49 demographic, the 10-10:30PM half-hour, which featured performances by Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea, Nicki Minaj (who collaborated with David Guetta in the second half), Tori Kelly and Simple Minds, was the highest-rated sixth of the 2015 Billboard Music Awards.
The 9-9:30PM (Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth & Lindsey Stirling, “Empire” medley, Hozier) and 9:30-10PM (Little Big Town & Faith Hill, Pitbull & Chris Brown, Ed Sheeran) tied for most-watched.
Per fast national data, the 10-10:30PM half hour, which also featured the end of Meghan Trainor’s Hot 100 award acceptance speech, Taylor Swift’s chart achievement award win and Molly Ringwald’s “Breakfast Club”-themed introduction to the Simple Minds performance, drew a 4.1 adults 18-49 rating with 11.61 million viewers.
Responsible for a 3.9 rating with 11.92 million viewers, the 9-9:30PM sixth also featured Sam Smith’s male artist award acceptance, John Legend’s radio award victory and Ludacris’ BB King tribute speech.
The 9:30-10PM portion, which drew a 4.0 with 11.92 million, also included Taylor Swift’s female artist win and One Direction’s touring artist victory.
The show’s overall average clocked in at a 3.7 adults 18-49 rating with 11.1 million viewers.
8-8:30PM: 3.0 with 9.84 million (Performances: “Bad Blood” video, Van Halen, Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa – beginning)
8:30-9PM: 3.4 with 10.56 million (Performances: Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa – end, Nick Jonas, Meghan Trainor & John Legend, Mariah Carey)
10:30-11PM: 3.8 with 10.86 million** (Performances: Kelly Clarkson, Imagine Dragons, Kanye West)
**While it was not one of the night’s top three segments, the 10:30-11PM portion held up well. That speaks to the lure of the acts involved (particularly to that of Kanye, who was plugged aggressively throughout the show).