Report: BET Awards 2017 Draws Show’s Lowest Viewership In 9 Years

Published: Wednesday 28th Jun 2017 by Rashad

Not even a collection of stage-blazing performances from the likes of Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Future & Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige were enough to help this year’s BET Awards drum up its usual viewership figures.

For nearly the last decade Urban music’s biggest night has managed to rope in no less than a composite of 7 million viewers across the multiple VIACOM networks it’s aired across simultaneously.  This year, however, the Leslie Jones-hosted affair sang a different tune.


Viewership and ratings were both down 19 percent from last year.  The premiere telecast of the 2017 “BET AWARDS” drew 5.8MM Total Viewers P2+ (EDAC) , as it was simulcast live across 9 Viacom networks including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Logo, Spike and Centric.

Despite the drop in ratings, BET still easily snagged the title of ‘Sunday night’s most watched television program.’

Curious to see how the 2017 showing stacks up against former editions?  Look below:

BET Awards Ratings

  • 2008: 5.8 million
  • 2009: 10.6 million
  • 2010: 7.4 million
  • 2011: 7.7 million
  • 2012: 7.4 million
  • 2013: 7.8 million
  • 2014: 7.9 million
  • 2015: 7.5 million
  • 2016: 7.2 million
  • 2017: 5.8 million

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  1. Back2lifeOnItunesNow June 28, 2017

    Thats because
    Beyonce / Jay .
    Kelly Rowland
    Junes Diary
    wete not set as performers

    • DanYiel Iman June 28, 2017

      My thoughts exactly!! ?

    • Honda Accord June 28, 2017

      Kelly rowland? June’s diary? Is this a joke?

      • Ispeakfacts June 29, 2017

        @ Honda Accord

        Rather u like what he/she said they r actually right! Ppl love Kelly! She is considered a big name! As 4 her group they did their thing this yr… they r really the reason Xscape r back together. Those girls did a cover of Xscape that went viral all over the internet Kandi, Tiny & the other girls of Xscape saw it and they posted about it… they loved it! On top of that too many danm hip hop artists & not enough of singing talent.. no new talent! They dropped the ball!

    • Sam June 29, 2017

      I disagree, who has got time to sit and watch the whole show when you can watch the highlights on the internet. No disrespect but they could’ve had got and Jesus there and people would’ve cut to the acceptance speech, deliverance from our sins and the sermon all online because nowadays everyone wants things fast and ready and all the in-between stuff with lacklustre hosts and act you’re not interested in why not just get your life watching the bits you want instead of the bits you don’t and never getting that time back.
      I watched the clips of New Edition, Xscape, Tamar and skipped the rest because i wasn’t interested, the who show has leaked so i could now watch it in my own time but I’m still not interested and don’t have the time….. for it.
      Jay-Z, Kelly, Beyonce, Junes Diary may have drawn more viewers but not that many.

  2. DS June 28, 2017

    I blame Debra Lee. 100 percent.

  3. Alex June 28, 2017

    Most people will ignore the biggest clue In this article. “Still the most viewed show on Sunday” means people aren’t watching TV as much anymore period. Everything is A La carte Tv services and streaming service are replacing traditional TV. This has nothing to do with BET. Having Beyoncé would have def increased the views but even then it wouldn’t change the reality that cable TV is dying.

    • Mar June 29, 2017

      ???These folk don’t never be knowing what they talking bout on this blog. Lol

    • Brazen Beauty June 29, 2017

      I agree with you, Cable TV is overated and too expensive. Who wants to poay $100.00 for the same channels.

    • Blak June 29, 2017

      You are correcto! I’m laughing at the rest of the comments! The age group that’s targeted the millennials don’t have cable & everything they mainly watch is online so this is not a shock to me & Brazen is right 100.00 for cable is overrated that’s why they share the same show on 6 different networks! lol Now if they move to digital they will increase in numbers because folks watch online but they gotta put the show online!

  4. Truth be told June 28, 2017

    No bey, no rih, no Nicki and snubbing her, no Drake, tons of technical difficulties, and Leslie Jones although I like her… She was horrible as a host.

    • AmbeRussell June 28, 2017

      And people name all these people who could have been there, but rihanna hasn’t performed since 08 (boring) , drake hasn’t been there since 11, kanye hasn’t perform since 12, jay z hasn’t perform since 09 and Beyonce went from 09 to 2016 for performing at the actual award show. And Nicki hasn’t did a solo performance since 14, and she isn’t a master mind performer and has been boring live.and issues duringbthe show happen while it was going on couldn’t prevent anyone from not wanting to watch. And the Oscars Gabe the wrong award to the wrong film and miss universe had the wrong name announced, s*** happens and it isn’t just a bet awards issue

  5. Tanya June 28, 2017

    People most time don’t want to hear truth, the lineup alone could tell us the show would have been crap….

  6. Fancy BISH June 28, 2017

    My favorite moment of the BET Awards was…
    “Are you DUMB?!” *Remy voice*

  7. Jeans June 28, 2017

    No Janet. No Bey. No JayZ. No RiRi. Not enough A listers present. It was all B- through E listers. ?

    • Fancy BISH June 28, 2017

      “It was all B- through E listers.” -Jeans
      Not B- chile lol

  8. Pray for the youth June 28, 2017

    Sha. It was a boring show.

  9. #TeamTinashe Stan June 28, 2017

    2015 was the best BET Award show for the 2010’s. It had the Bad Boy Reunion, janet tribute, Kendrick Lamar performance and Smokey Robinson tribute.

    This year just lacked interesting performers.
    Trey Songz, Chris Brown and Maxwell shouldn’t have performed as they were boring.
    The New Edition Tribute& Remy Ma winning was the HIGHLIGHT

    • AmbeRussell June 28, 2017

      People think Chris is this major factor, but his pull has weaken over the years. Same with trey and Tamar. Bruno’s name should have been the major draw to get non bet award audiences.

  10. AmbeRussell June 28, 2017

    a major issue is we aren’t allowing new talent shine like other genres are. In the white community, you had Madonna, then Britney and Christina, then lady gaga, then Katy Perry then Taylor swift. Bet only has Beyonce and riahnna, and rihanna isnt a major deal when it comes to her performing skills.
    And we hold onto acts that have hit and are past their prime. Chris Brown and trey Songz?! That’s like getting Mario in 2010 to perform. Unlike madonna to taylor, we haven’t had their next comins come out or at least acknowledge them. Usher to Chris, but who’s coming next?
    And why didn’t Kendrick have his own slot?! And though I’m not a fan of the sing, Missy could have performed the remix to her song.

  11. Frank June 28, 2017

    THe real reason was because Kevin hart didn’t host

  12. filmguy5490 June 28, 2017


  13. HiHiElsie June 28, 2017

    No keyshia Cole, Fantasia, chrisette Michelle , jasmine Sullivan, tweet, letoya luckett, Monica, brandy, sevyn streeter, Kelly , alicia keys, Rowland, Ciara, Beyonce,rihanna, k michelle, erykah bad u, Jill Scott, kelis, remy ma, nicki minaj, trina, young ma, dej loaf, y’all notice how MTV gives their white established performers a chance to shine….thats why the show lacked viewership,

  14. G7Pat June 28, 2017

    No A list name a la Prince Janet or bey to promote…felt like the hip hop awards

  15. Theman June 29, 2017

    They barely promoted this show. It was kinda dull too..

  16. Ocean June 29, 2017

    It’s a long ass show. Unbeccary perfotmances … they could skip some of the awards …. Remy should have performed a new song … still waiting for this solo stuff …

    But no Drake, Rihanna, Nicki, Bey, Jay just dropped out 2million viewers looking for the juice …

  17. S. June 29, 2017

    As I always say no matter how many times I have been dissed and contradicted: No Beyoncé, No Party!

  18. JustCoastWitHa June 29, 2017

    Hardly any A-Listers in the building. The Host was a dub. Stephen Hill is no longer working for BET. And Uhh.. Nicki did announce a few days before that she wasn’t going. Y’all know how us barbs do. =)

  19. ras June 29, 2017

    maybe next time they will start inviting real singers like Fantasia people dont want to see all them ratchet rappers

  20. Mars July 1, 2017

    We need to take a look at the people at the top that promotes and puts the show togther. I believe those running the show are very white like and not black music historians. First of all, Leslie Jones is not funny. She’s the type of comic white people like. We laugh at her- not with her. That’s not funny or the move. Also, all throughout promoting the awards, not once did I hear it advertised that New Edition were to receive the life achievement award and would be performing. Any true black music historian/ fan would have tuned in to watch NE alone. It’s safe to say, the folks at the top needs to be replaced. They dropped the ball and they’re part of the generation that’s allowing the soul to die. Hip hop is the only thing that’s being pushed. R&B isn’t being promoted. But R&B is where the staying power is. It’s being replaced by hip hop and a bland version of R&B. It’s always mentioned that 75%+ of rap music is purchased by whites. That mentality has infiltrated BET and modern black radio….and not in a good way. How else could you explain DJ Khaled closing the show.

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