Ratings Update: 2019 Billboard Music Awards Down In Demo, Up Slightly In Viewers

The BBMAs ceremony actually endured a year-over-year decline.

Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie at the BBMAs (Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC)

Update: While the overnight household ratings suggested a slight year-over-year increase for the Billboard Music Awards, a more granular ratings breakdown offers a more mixed portrait.

This year’s show was indeed up in overall viewership, but it was down in the key adults 18-49 demographic.

According to fast national data shared by NBC, Wednesday’s show averaged a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating and 7.96 million overall viewers. Last year’s show, which aired on a Sunday, drew a stronger 2.4 demo rating but a lesser 7.87 million viewer mark.

Signposted by that breakdown, this year’s show skewed older than last year’s ceremony. Showbuzz notes that it averaged a 9% share among viewers 50+, compared to a 7% share last year.

Despite the decline in the key young adult demo, this year’s ceremony still ranked as Wednesday’s top-rated and most-watched broadcast network program.

The move to Wednesday and return to a tape-delayed west coast broadcast do not appear to have hurt NBC’s Billboard Music Awards.

Early ratings for the 2019 ceremony actually reflect a slight increase over last year’s ceremony. The 2019 edition also drew a bigger household audience than the 2017 broadcast.

According to metered market data posted by Programming Insider, Wednesday’s ceremony drew a 5.7 overnight household rating. Last year’s show drew a 5.3 rating, while the 2017 iteration posted a 5.4.

Programming Insider adds that the 8-8:30PM and 9-9:30PM segments tied as the top-rated half-hours. Each drew a 5.9.

After posting a 5.3 in the overnights, last year’s show ended up delivering a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating and 7.9 million overall viewers.

This year’s initial demo and viewer data will arrive by 12PM ET. While there is no guarantee the numbers will be up from last year, the increase in the overnight household number makes it very unlikely that the show endured a big year-over-year decline in those columns.

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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