Ratings: Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Fall to New Lows

Even compared with last year’s display, which was only semi-live due to COVID

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
Getty

NBC’s annual fireworks show didn’t make much of a bang last night — the Fourth of July special sponsored by retail store Macy’s settled for new lows in both the key demo ratings (adults ages 18-49) and among total viewers (anyone Age 2 or older).

From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., the “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” on NBC averaged a 0.6 rating and 4.4 million total viewers. Not “spectacular,” but enough for NBC to win primetime outright.

Last year’s semi-live (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) NBC event, which took place on a Saturday, drew a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.7 million total viewers. Those were all-time lows at the time.

(Saturdays tend to be the lowest-rated night of the week, with many Americans choosing to be out and about instead of home on the couch. Holidays also have very low TV-usage levels, so 2020 was like a triple-whammy scenario.)

The last “normal” Macy’s 4th of July fireworks special, which aired on a Thursday in 2019, averaged a 0.9 rating and 5.9 million total viewers.

NBC also won both July 4, 2019 and July 4, 2020. (And probably all the ones you can remember before those years, too.)

NBC was first in ratings with a 0.4 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 3.4 million, according to preliminary numbers. A rerun of the Peyton Manning-hosted game show “College Bowl” aired at 7 and an encore of the fireworks display at 10.

ABC was second in ratings with a 0.3 and third in total viewers with 2.4 million. 

CBS was third in ratings with a 0.2 and second in total viewers with 2.6 million. 

Fox and The CW tied for fourth in ratings, both with a 0.1. Fox was fourth in total viewers with 464,000 and The CW was fifth with 315,000.

Everything else on the Big 4 broadcast nets was a rerun.

We do not have Nielsen numbers for Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo.

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