The early ratings for the 90th annual Academy Awards are in — and down from the 2017 show.
The preliminary Nielsen ratings for the Oscars, broadcast on ABC, show a significant drop in viewership of the nearly four hour awards ceremony.
The 8 p.m.-11 p.m. portion of ABC’s telecast averaged an 18.9 household rating and 32 share in Nielsen’s metered market overnight ratings, which cover about 70% of U.S. TV households. That’s down about 16% from the 22.5/37 rating generated by the 2017 Oscars.
Variety pointed out that the preliminary ratings do not factor in time zones, so the analysis of ABC’s 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. numbers do not accurately reflect West Coast viewership.
“Nor do they include viewership from the post-11 p.m. final 48 minutes when the most prominent awards were handed out to winners that included Gary Oldman as best actor, for ‘Darkest Hour,’ and Frances McDormand, for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,'” Variety noted.
Ratings decline aside, ABC still reigned supreme for the night, besting the ratings for its Big Four competitors combined. What’s more, the decline in ratings was to be expected: the ongoing trend of cord-cutting and the surge in streaming services means more viewers are watching award shows on their computers and mobile devices than ever before. Interestingly enough, though ratings were expected to decline this year, the cost of advertising on the show actually increased. Make of that what you will.
This year’s Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, was the first Academy Awards since the Time’s Up movement rocked the entertainment industry, bringing down a number of former Hollywood titans — like Harvey Weinstein — and sparking a movement focused on women’s empowerment and combatting sexual harassment.
[image via screengrab]
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