(Bloomberg) -- The TV audience for Sunday’s Emmy Awards rose 16%, buoyed in part by the return of a star-studded, in-person ceremony after Covid-19 upended last year’s show.  

About 7.4 million viewers tuned in to the annual show, ViacomCBS Inc.’s CBS network said Monday, an increase from 6.4 million in 2020. 

The program, hosted by comedian Cedric the Entertainer, was held in-person in Los Angeles for the first time in two years. Due to pandemic restrictions, the 2020 show took place inside an empty auditorium and winners received their statuettes at home.

The result was an all-time low audience, exacerbated by the steady decline in viewership for awards shows in general. Sunday’s viewership was the largest for the Emmy Awards since 2018.

The ratings for big sporting events, like the NFL and U.S. Open tennis tournament, have also improved this year. That’s partly due to the fact that such events are taking place this year in front of live audiences, which makes them more engaging to watch.

With the Emmys, the ratings may also have improved because people wanted to see if the shows they have spent the pandemic binge-watching on streaming services were recognized with TV’s highest honor. Some of the big winners on Sunday night were Netflix Inc. for “The Crown” and Apple Inc. for “Ted Lasso.”

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