Music’s biggest night was a bit of a sour note for CBS. Ratings for the 57th annual Grammy Awards telecast dipped more than 10 percent on Sunday, delivering 25.3 million viewers compared with 28.5 million viewers last year, according to Nielsen.
The three-and-a-half-hour ceremony was by far the most watched telecast of the evening, but it aired against stiff competition, including the midseason premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the highest-rated scripted show on television.
Despite a number of viral moments -- including a universally lauded performance by Annie Lennox and yet another disruptive stunt from Kanye West -- the 2015 Grammys were the lowest-rated since 2009, when 19.05 million people tuned in to the event.
Since 2010, the Grammys have been enjoying a resurgence of sorts, which some have attributed to the advent of Twitter and other social media sites. Sunday’s telecast generated 1.6 billion views of 20.9 million global tweets sent between 5 p.m. and 11:40 p.m.
According to Twitter, West was the most mentioned artist of the night, followed by Sam Smith, who won four Grammys, including Best New Artist. Beyoncé was No. 3 most mentioned artist. Beck, who beat out Beyoncé for Album of the Year -- thereby prompting West’s aforementioned interruption -- did not make the top five most mentioned artists.
Despite the dip in ratings, Nielsen Social ranked the 2015 Grammy Awards as the biggest social entertainment program of the 2014-2015 season to date. In terms of viewers, the highest-rated Grammys telecast of all time came in 2012 when the event was boosted by the death of Whitney Houston, which happened the day before the telecast.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the highest-rated Grammys telecast was in 2011. It was in 2012.