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Critics Choice Awards broadcast draws record low viewership for in-person ceremony

The Critics Choice Awards aired Sunday night without much fanfare. The CW’s broadcast of the 28th annual ceremony drew 900,000 viewers, according to early Nielsen numbers.

That’s a slight dip from last year when the ceremony, which was simulcast across The CW and TBS, took home an audience of 1.1M. TBS didn’t simulcast the ceremony this year, so technically this year’s viewership is larger than the CW’s portion a year ago, however the overall audience declined to a low for an in-person ceremony. (The virtual 2021 edition of Critics Choice Awards drew just 365,000 total viewers.)

The dip in audience this year falls in line with every other awards show telecast losing viewers over the past few years. On Tuesday, NBC’s broadcast of the Golden Globes brought in the lowest ratings ever for the ceremony.

Over the course of the three-hour Critics Choice broadcast, A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once won Best Picture, Brendan Fraser won Best Actor for A24’s The Whale, and Cate Blanchett took Best Actress for Focus Features’ Tár. View the full list of winners here.

The ratings winner of the night was NBC’s broadcast of the AFC Wild Card matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens. The game drew about 21.2M viewers and a 5.6 rating in the advertiser-targeted 18-49 demographic.

While that’s just a hair down from the comparable Steelers vs. Chiefs game last year, pro football continues to be just about the only thing that can pull in huge numbers for any broadcast network.

Ratings tend to be sinking across the board, but the NFL regular season actually drove some record numbers for the broadcasters this year. NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the network was up 3% from last season and scored its best viewership since 2019 with an average of 19.9M viewers across the 18-week season.

Other primetime fare on Sunday night included CBS’ lineup of East New York with 5.1M viewers and NCIS: Los Angeles with 4.5M. Deadline

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