The Emmy Awards ceremony that took place last Sunday night experienced a record low in terms of viewership, as only 11.9 million viewers tuned in to watch television’s big production companies celebrate themselves.
The low audience is another example of how today’s technology is taking people away from traditional cable or satellite services and into the world of streaming. More people are “cutting the cord” of their cable or satellite service in order to transition to services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video as the services are cheaper, and offer customers the ability to watch their favorite programs at their own leisure.
However, streaming services do not offer certain live events, including the Emmys, which have long been touted as a major barrier for wider streaming adoption.
Yet judging by the Emmy viewership figures it seems customers apparently believe that it is a necessary sacrifice to be made. One might expect that television viewership of major events, such as the Emmys or the Super Bowl will continue to decline over time as more people discontinue their cable or satellite services that are required to view these live events.
Some attribute the lackluster performance of this year’s Emmy Awards to other factors.
For instance, some people say that last year’s Emmy Awards had more viewers because it was aired on a Monday night, and the ceremony did not have to go head-to-head in the lineup with an NFL game. Last year’s Emmy Awards attracted 15.6 million viewers, significantly more than this year.
Others say that first-time host Andy Samberg failed to attract viewers.
The Emmys experienced previous lows in 1990 and 2008, when only 12.3 million people watched the ceremony.
Despite its poor ratings on TV, the ceremony still showed that it was popular subject of social media. It produced more than 1 million tweets, along with 14 million Facebook interactions.
By comparison, 37.3 million people tuned-in to watch the Oscars, 24.8 million viewed the Grammys, and 19.3 million watch the Golden Globes earlier this year.
As for the 2015 event itself, Game of Thrones dominated the evening, as the HBO drama won a record 12 awards, including the award for “best drama series”. Actor Peter Dinklage, who plays the character Tyrion Lannister, won the award for “best supporting actor”.
The domination marked a trend of traditional TV networks winning all the awards despite a healthy amount of quality content being produced by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. Perhaps it is yet another sign that major TV networks and production companies see clearly the threat of streaming and will do everything in their power to curb their rise. The industry was, after all, celebrating itself.