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Awards shows are struggling to draw TV audiences. Should the Oscars be worried?

Author: Stephen Battaglio
Publication: Los Angeles Times

For decades, awards shows provided a front-row seat to TV viewers’ favorite performers.

Even as audiences for sitcoms and dramas were siphoned away by streaming services, the Oscars, the Grammys and the Golden Globes could be relied upon every year to deliver the biggest TV ratings outside of NFL football.

But over the past year, awards shows could not catch a break as the pandemic turned the spectacles into low-key, socially distanced and often virtual affairs. Both the CBS telecast of the 63rd Grammy Awards (9.2 million viewers on March 14) and NBC’s presentation of the 93rd Golden Globe Awards (6.9 million viewers on Feb. 28) dropped more than 50% from 2020 levels, according to Nielsen.

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