While the eastern half of the U.S. tweeted about the Grammy Awards ceremony, viewers of the broadcast on the West Coast needed to waited three hours to weigh in unless they happened to be watching inside the Staples Center.
That will no longer be the case as CBS, the network rights holder to the trophy show honoring the recording industry, is catering to the social media crowd by airing the Grammys live on TV stations it owns in Los Angeles (KCBS), San Francisco (KPIX), Sacramento (KOVR) and Denver (KCNC).
Starting with the 58th Annual Grammy Awards held on Feb. 15 at the Staples Center, the live feed of the ceremony previously shown only in the Eastern and Central time zones will be seen at 5 p.m. PT and 6 p.m. MT on CBS-owned stations. CBS affiliates that currently run the telecast on a delayed basis also have the option to take the live feed.
All CBS stations and affiliates in the western time zones will continue to show a tape-delayed Grammys telecast in prime time as they have in the past.
The Grammy Awards routinely ranks as one of the year's highest-rated TV broadcasts. Last year's event averaged 24.8 million viewers, with about one-third of them in the 18- to 49-year-old age group that advertisers covet.
The Oscars, the Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes air live across all time zones. Most other live award shows air on a delayed basis in western time zones so that stations can take advantage of higher television usage levels in prime time.
But live TV events have become valuable commodities as a growing number of viewers watch their favorite programs on their own schedule through video-on-demand platforms or Internet streaming. Commenting online about memorable moments that happen during awards telecasts has become part of the live viewing experience. NBC's Jan. 11 telecast of the Golden Globes generated 4.4 million comments on Twitter.
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