ABC's telecast of the American Music Awards dropped in the ratings Sunday night as NBC's football coverage surged.
The AMAs drew 11.6 million viewers and a 4.3 preliminary adults 18-49 rating, down 22% from 2009. Moreover, the telecast stands as the lowest-rated AMAs yet.
Teen sensation Justin Bieber swept the awards, taking home four statues including Artist of the Year. He overthrew Eminem, who had garnered the most nominations.
ABC pointed out the show was up 12% in teens and 19% among kids 2-11, if only that was the network's target audience.
Competition was heavy from NBC's Sunday Night Football, which had its fourth strongest game ever, drawing a 15.9 overnight household rating, up 31% from last year's game. For those counting, that marks four NBC games this season ranking among the top five NBC primetime football games ever.
CBS's ratings are approximate due to football overrun: Amazing Race (10.8 million, 3.1), Undercover Boss (12.3 million, 3.1) and CSI: Miami (10.3 million, 2.2).
Fox took some heavy hits, with Simpsons (6.6 million, 2.9) and Cleveland (5 million, 2.4) each down more than 20%, while Family Guy (6.6 million, 3.3) was practically steady and American Dad (4.8 million, 2.3) slipped 8%.