Golden Globes audience hits 13-year low as show loses two-thirds of audience


Gregg Donovan holds up a poster in support of the “Time’s Up Globes” movement outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the Golden Globes will take place, on February 28, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California.

VALERIE MACON | AFP | fake images

Not even Tina Fey and Amy Poehler could save Sunday’s Golden Globes from poor grades.

On Tuesday, Nielsen data revealed that the 78th annual awards ceremony hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had captured just 6.9 million viewers, a 63% drop from the 18.4 million who tuned in to the broadcast of 2020.

The last time the ceremony drew such a tepid general audience was in 2008, when the show was transformed into a press conference due to a writers’ strike. About 6 million people tuned in to that broadcast. The least watched Globes show was in 1995, with just 3.6 million viewers.

Sunday’s broadcast was marred by technical setbacks and overshadowed by scandal, as the HFPA has come under heavy criticism for its lack of black voters and ongoing reports of internal corruption. Fey, Poehler and several award winners used their airtime to lash out at the organization, leading to an awkward night of pseudo celebration.

The ceremony earned a 1.5 rating among adults ages 18-49, a drastic 68% drop from the previous year’s show, which previously held the record for the lowest rating of all time for that key demographic.

Ratings are essentially percentages that measure how much of a given group watches a given show. For the most part, the ratings are based on the adult demographic between the ages of 18 and 49. This grouping is what is used to set ad rates for different entertainment shows, so it is the one that is reported with more frenquency.

With about 120 million TV households, a rating of 1.0 equals 1% of all households, or 1.2 million. So with a 1.5 rating, the Golden Globes were watched by around 1.8 million people within that key age group.

NBC, which signed a $ 60 million-a-year deal with the HFPA in 2018 for exclusive rights to the broadcast for eight years, may be reconsidering the value of the ceremony.

While the HFPA used Sunday’s show to issue a statement about its plans to include more black and other minority journalists in its organization in the future, many on social media felt the apology failed. The organization is dealing with multiple scandals and its reputation is tarnished in the eyes of the Hollywood elite and the public around the world.

Still, the ceremony and its awards remain coveted by the film and television industries. Nominations and victories, even from an organization like the HFPA, are still marketing opportunities for studios and celebrities. Please note how often the words “Golden Globe winner” or “Golden Globe nominee” are used in trailers and other promotional materials.

Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit.

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