The 2020 American Music Awards were hit by a big rating and total viewership decline from last year, falling to record lows in both measurements.
Last night’s awards show, which was hosted by “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson and saw Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Dan + Shay emerge as the big winners, averaged a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 and around 4 million total viewers. That represents a 40% rating decline and similar loss in audience. For comparison, last years AMAs were down only 4% on the year prior in the ratings column, and in fact gained around 200,000 viewers from 2018. The show’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” lead-in scored a 0.5 rating and just under 4 million viewers.
Of course it needs to be mentioned that those historically small AMA numbers aren’t particularly surprising given that awards shows are tumbling almost across the board of late. For instance, earlier this year the Oscars fell 20%, the Emmys around 9%, the ACM Awards over 30%, the Billboard Music Awards 55%, and the CMAs 30%.
It’s also worth noting that the AMAs faced stiff competition from a strong “Sunday Night Football” showing on NBC. An exciting game between the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Las Vegas Raiders averaged a 4.1 rating and around 15.2 million total viewers.
Over on CBS, “NCIS: Los Angeles” delivered a 0.6 rating and 5.6 million total viewers, followed by “NCIS: New Orleans” with a 0.5 and 4.8 million. “60 Minutes” kicked off the night with a 0.9 and just over 9 million total viewers.
Fox’s Animation Domination lineup was given a handy boost by an NFL overrun, as “The Simpsons” scored a 1.5 rating and 4.7 million viewers. “Bless the Harts” came in at a 0.7 rating and just over 2 million viewers, followed by “Bob’s Burgers” and “Family Guy” both at a 0.6 rating and around 1.6 million pairs of eyeballs.
Univision averaged a 0.3 rating across Sunday night, with “Tu Cara Me Suena” leading the way at a 0.4 rating and 1.4 million viewers. Telemundo aired two movies offerings, also averaging a 0.3 overall.
News episodes of “Local,” “Pandora” and “The Outpost” all scored a 0.1 rating for the CW.