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Grammy Awards reach 28.5 million viewers in what would be 2nd-biggest audience since 1993

Host LL Cool J speaks on stage at the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

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Host LL Cool J speaks on stage at the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Grammy Awards are a hit with television viewers, with Nielsen reporting in its preliminary ratings that 28.5 million viewers tuned in to music's biggest night.

If the Nielsen Company's fast national rating holds up when a more complete report is issued later Monday, that would be a slight increase over last year's 28.4 million viewers and the second-biggest Grammy audience since 1993.

In the age of social media, awards shows and other live programs on broadcast TV have prospered. The Grammys reached nearly 40 million people in Adele's big year two years ago and hasn't been below 25 million since 2009.

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