Award ceremonies seldom manage to surprise us nowadays, and this year's Oscars ceremony hasn't been any different, if audience ratings are anything to go by, that is. Nielsen, the company behind television ratings in the US, published its data on this year's Oscars ceremony confirming that it's been the least watched edition in history. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in total, only 26.5 million Americans tuned in.
The rating marks a 19.5% drop since last year's ceremony that attracted an audience of 32.9 million. The ceremony airs on ABC in the States and has been losing viewers since 2014. The last time viewership was so low, was back in 2007, and even then, with 32 million viewers, the figures were rigged.
Why the loss?
There are various reasons circulating online, but it's probable that the loss is down to a mixture of them all. Many think the ceremony is too long and predictable, given that this year's show lasted almost 3hrs 50mins, we're not surprised. The last time the ceremony lasted so long was back in 2007, and despite the spike in support for movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, there wasn't much mention of them on the night.
Another reason may be because the nominated films haven't exactly been as well received at the box office as might've been hoped. Therefore, it's likely audiences felt there was no need to tune in. Moreover, the winners of the night weren't exactly a surprise: the nominees (Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney) had each won at other award ceremonies (BAFTA's, Golden Globes, Screen Actor's Guild or the Critics' Choice Awards) leading up to the Oscars.
After some consideration however, we agree with Fortune; our watching habits have changed, and that's affected how many of us tune into live programmes nowadays. The Oscars are no longer solely aired on ABC, but online too and, if you ask us, the latter option is better, given you get to share your opinions with the rest of the internet. Finally, let's be honest, all we really care about are the memes and the winners, and we all know Twitter's more than capable of bringing us those.