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Ratings: 49th Annual CMA Awards Ceremony Falls 16% From 2014 (Updated)

Timberlake Stapleton [ABC]

Final Broadcast Ratings: Per Nielsen’s final data, Wednesday’s 49th Annual CMA Awards ceremony averaged a 3.8 adults 18-49 rating with 13.62 million viewers from 8-11PM ET.

The numbers both trail those of last year’s show — 4.5 with 16.25 million — by 16%.

Fast National Ratings: Airing from 8-11PM, Wednesday’s 49th Annual CMA Awards broadcast averaged a 3.8 adults 18-49 rating. Its average total viewership clocked in at 13.58 million viewers.

Both numbers trail those of last years’s show — 4.5 with 16.25 million — by 16%.

While it would be easy to blame stiff competition from FOX’s “Empire,” it is worth noting that the show drew its best adults 18-49 rating in the “Empire”-occupied 9PM hour.

This year’s CMA Awards drew a 3.8 rating and 14.14 million viewers in the 8PM hour, a 4.1 and 14.43 million in the 9PM hour, and a 3.5 and 12.18 million in the 10PM hour.

ABC’s broadcast was the night’s #2 program in adults 18-49 (behind “Empire,” 4.6) and #1 program in total viewership.

The ample promotion and involvement of Justin Timberlake failed to ignite a ratings gain for the 49th Annual CMA Awards.

The broadcast’s overnight household rating, in fact, fell by 15% from that of the 2014 edition.

Per Nielsen Metered Market data, Wednesday’s broadcast earned ABC an 8.2 overnight household rating from 8-11PM ET. The 2014 edition, which aired on the comparable night, posted a notably stronger 9.7.

That 9.7 came in conjunction with a 4.5 adults 18-49 rating and 16.25 million total viewers. While there is no guarantee this year’s broadcast suffered the same 15% drop in those columns, the deflated overnight household rating signposts a decline of some sort.

Despite the big name appearances and hype, the second hour of this year’s show faced stiff competition from FOX’s “Empire.” While “Empire” itself slipped slightly from an 8.2 overnight household rating to a 7.9 and likely does not skew too heavily in the direction of country music fans, it still represented serious competition.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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