Ratings for the 2022 CMA Awards were up compared to 2021. The ABC broadcast — which featured host Peyton Manning for the first time — gained nearly three-quarters of a million viewers on Wednesday (Nov. 9), leading to a ratings win.

The Hollywood Reporter shares that 7.57 million viewers watched the 2022 CMAs, up from 6.83 million last year. The 2021 number was an all-time low, including the COVID-19-affected 2020 show (7.08 million). Overall, awards show ratings have plummeted in recent years, so this uptick could be viewed as good news for the format. By comparison, the 2015 CMAs reached 13.6 million viewers (per the Wrap), a record low at the time.

In choosing Manning to join Luke Bryan as co-host, ABC and the Country Music Association were gambling that a popular, non-country music personality could pull more attention to the awards show. That seems to have paid off with this 11 percent gain. Both hosts appeared across several Disney-owned properties during the days leading up to the 2022 CMA Awards in Nashville. Bryan even stopped by the set of ESPN's College Gameday.

A lineup that included several heritage artists also may have helped boost viewership. Previously, the CMAs have trusted out-of-genre stars to draw in new viewers, but many country music fans have objected to their inclusion at the expense of the format's legends. This time, Alan Jackson earned a prominent feature. Carrie Underwood performed twice. There was a lengthy nod to Loretta Lynn. Wynonna Judd presented.

"This is my fifth or sixth year at being at this award show," Luke Combs shared while accepting his Entertainer of the Year CMA, "and country sounded more country than it has in a long time tonight."

On Wednesday night, the CMA Awards were up against The Masked Singer on Fox, Chicago Med on NBC and Survivor on CBS.

2022 CMA Awards Performance Pictures

2022 CMA Awards performance pictures from Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Cody Johnson, Alan Jackson, Carly Pearce, Thomas Rhett and more.

CMA Awards Red Carpet

More From Quick Country 96.5