Grammy Awards Delay Threatens $67 Million in Ad Sales for CBS

Billie Eilish and Finneas win the award for Record of the Year at The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards
Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas accept a Grammy at last year's award show (Image credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS)

The delay of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards because of the spread of COVID-19 puts the estimated $67 million in ad sales the show has generated for CBS in jeopardy.

The 2021 Grammys generated $67.6 million in ad revenue for CBS, according to ad data and analysis company Standard Media Index. That was up from $67 million in 2020 and $60.2 million in 2019, despite falling viewership.

Advertisers paid an average of $866,200 for 30-second spots in the 2021 broadcast, according to SMI, up from $831,000 in 2020 and $784,400 in 2019.

No new date for the award show has been set.

A postponement could lead some advertisers to change plans. If the awards are canceled, CBS would lose a high-profile, premium event.

If COVID-19 makes it difficult to stage the event in person, without compelling live performances, viewership could further erode.

SMI gets its ad sales data from invoices in the computer systems of most of the largest media buying agencies. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.