Ratings: ABC’s ‘Billboard Music Awards’ Dominates Sunday Despite Declines

ABC’s telecast of the “Billboard Music Awards,” broadcast live across the entire country for the first time, dominated Sunday’s broadcast ratings action but lost a bit of steam from last year’s 14-year highs.

The kudocast certainly had plenty of high-profile cable competition last night, including Game 3 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder, which did a big 5.7 household rating/9 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights on TNT from 8 to 10:30 p.m. ET — even though it was a lopsided contest. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (4.6/7) and AMC’s season finale of “Fear the Walking Dead” (2.7/4) were among the night’s other top-flight draws.

Looking at preliminary national estimates from Nielsen that are adjusted for time zone differences, the “2016 Billboard Music Awards” averaged a 3.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 9.6 million viewers overall. The top markets for the “2016 Billboard Music Awards” were from cities in the Central and Eastern time zones: Atlanta (9.9 household rating/16 share), Richmond (9.8/14), Philadelphia (8.9/14), Chicago (8.5/14) and Minneapolis and West Palm Beach (both 8.2/12).

The show had grown a bit in recent years, but last night’s “Billboard Music Awards” still stands as the third most-watched since ABC began airing it in 2011. It was down from last year by 18% in 18-49 rating (3.1 vs. 3.7) and by 14% in total viewers (9.6 million vs. 11.2 million).

Fox was runner-up among the broadcasters for the night in adults 18-49, led by season finales of animated comedies “Family Guy” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and “Bob’s Burgers” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall). Kicking off the night, the series finale of “Bordertown” did a 0.5/2 in the demo and 1.2 million total viewers.

CBS was steady throughout the night with “60 Minutes” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall), a second installment of the newsmagazine at 8 (0.8/3 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and episodes of “Undercover Boss” at both 9 (0.8/2 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and 10 (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall). The 9 p.m. episode of “Boss,” a show that will be returning to CBS for an eighth season, was its 100th overall.

NBC had a quiet night, opening with “Dateline: On Assignment” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and a repeat of “Little Big Shots” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall). “The Carmichael Show” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) was unable to overcome this soft lead-in, as it and the now-canceled “Crowded” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) both hit lows. “Dateline” managed to build from there at 10 (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall).

 

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