CMA Delivers Most Watched Show Since 2005

ABC-Logo[Updated 4:22 pm] The 43rd Annual CMA Awards delivered ABC a robust 5.2/14 ratings/share for adults 18-49 and logged 16.85 million viewers. In addition to being the most watched CMA Awards show since 2005, it also blew the doors off the evening, giving ABC its largest Wednesday night audience (excluding sports) since 9/21/05 according to reports on

Shows on other channels included FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance (5.55 million viewers) and Glee (7.35 million) plus CBS’s New Adventures Of Old Christine (7.57 million) and NBC’s Law & Order (8.81 million).

This information below has been released from ABC:

[ABC Press Release] With the Network’s broadcast of “The 43rd Annual CMA Awards,” ABC overshadowed Wednesday’s prime, beating out second-place CBS on the evening by 5.7 million viewers (17.2 million vs. 11.5 million) and by 66% in Adults 18-49 (5.3/14 vs. 3.2/8).  ABC ranked No. 1 in all 6 half-hours of the night in both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.  In fact it was a clean sweep on the night, as the Network also took top honors on the evening across all key Adults, Men and  Women demographics (18-34/18-49/25-54) and Teens 12-17, as well as registering as the top-rated broadcaster with Kids 2-11.

ABC attracted its biggest Wednesday audience with non-sports programming in well over 4 years and its highest Adult 18-49 number in 2 years – since 9/21/05 and 11/07/07, respectively.

Year to year, the CMA Awards gained 1.3 million viewers and grew 6% in Adults 18-49 (2008 = 15.9 million and 5.0/13 on 11/12/08).  It was the most-watched CMA Awards telecast in 4 years, while the annual awards show marked its highest Adult 18-34 number in 5 years (4.2/12) and top Women 18-34 number in 6 years (5.8/16) – since 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.

An estimated 35.8 million viewers watched at least some portion of “The 43rd Annual CMA Awards” during its 3-hour telecast – unique Viewers 2+ that watched 6 minutes or more of the program.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 33% currently, from 28% at the same point in 2008. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.

Source: Nielsen Media Research (National, Live + Same Day Program Ratings), 11/11/09


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Category: Awards, Featured, Organizations

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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