The 2015 Emmy Awards broadcast was the least-watched show in the awards’ history.According to preliminary Nielsen ratings data, 11.9 million people watched the Emmys Sunday night. That falls just short of the 2008 Emmys show, which only brought in 12.2 million viewers. The 2014 Emmys brought in 15.6 million people.
The show’s festivities, hosted by Andy Samberg, seemed to earn a nod from critics, so what went wrong? As Vulture points out, this year’s ceremony had to share viewers with both Sunday Night Football and Fear The Walking Dead.
Last year’s ceremony was scheduled in August, so its competition wasn’t quite so fierce. According to Deadline, Sunday Night Football’s stable 16.3 million viewers suggests that, perhaps unsurprisingly, exactly zero people took a break from football to watch the show.
Another obvious component is likely the increasing number of cord-cutters. Though the ceremony saw a collection of remarkable moments — most notably, Viola Davis’ acceptance speech — these could all be consumed online, individually, after the fact.
Unfortunately, poor timing probably won’t be enough to explain record-low numbers to advertisers.