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Emmy Awards audience shrinks

By STEPHEN BATTAGLIO • Updated Sep 18, 2018 at 2:38 PM

LOS ANGELES (TNS) — The ratings slide for the Emmy Awards that has come with the rise of streaming TV shows continued with Monday’s telecast, according to preliminary data from Nielsen.

NBC’s live broadcast from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles averaged a 7.4 rating in the 56 markets where Nielsen measures overnight ratings. The figure is down nearly 10 percent from last year's show.

The national TV audience for the show — which was hosted by the “Saturday Night Lives” Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che — will be issued later Tuesday; a new all-time low is expected. Last year, the Emmy Awards scored 11.4 million viewers on CBS in 2017, a touch above the show's all-time low in 2016, when ABC had the telecast.

The audience levels for the Emmy Awards have taken a hit since 2013, when the telecast scored 17.7 million viewers. The decline has coincided with the proliferation of programming on online streaming services .

In recent years, the Television Academy has been honoring more shows from Netflix, Amazon and Hulu — many of which are not that recognizable to a mass audience that would typically tune in for an awards show on a large broadcast network.

The big Emmy winner Monday was Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which won five trophies including the honor for best comedy. HBO's long-running fantasy hit “Game of Thrones” won for best drama.

Only two awards on the televised ceremony went to one of the four major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox). One was for direction of this year's Academy Awards telecast, which aired on ABC. The other was for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” which won for best variety sketch series.

The Emmy Awards telecast isn’t the only trophy show to see smaller audiences. Both the Grammy Awards and the Oscars saw significant ratings drops this year as a growing number of viewers prefer to watch clips of the programs online.

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