Emmy awards show draws record low TV audience

Writer George RR Martin, winner of Outstanding Drama Series for Game of Thrones, poses in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theatre on Sunday  in Los Angeles.
Writer George RR Martin, winner of Outstanding Drama Series for Game of Thrones, poses in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theatre on Sunday in Los Angeles.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - The Emmy Awards show, television's biggest night, drew the smallest TV audience on record, despite big wins for HBO's popular medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones.

Preliminary Nielsen ratings data on Monday showed that just 11.9 million Americans watched Sunday's Emmy Awards telecast which was broadcast live on Fox television in competition with NBC's Sunday Night Football.

The Emmys TV audience was some 4 million fewer than the 2014 event, and the smallest in the award show's history.

The top-rated Emmys in recent years was the 2013 show, where comedies Modern Family and drama Breaking Bad won the top awards and which drew 17.76 million viewers overall.

Sunday's ceremony brought surprise best series wins for both Game of Thrones - one of the most popular dramas on US television - and HBO's satirical White House show Veep.

It also made history when Viola Davis, star of How To Get Away With Murder, became the first black woman in the 67-year history of the Emmys to take home the statuette for lead actress in a drama series.

The National Football League game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football drew 23 million viewers.