The Academy Awards are the biggest night for Hollywood, but fewer and fewer people outside of that circle are tuned in to the event.
Last Sunday, the audience for the annual Oscar television program dropped to a new low, with 10.4 million people watching to see which film won the Best Picture award, according to Nielsen. That’s nearly a 56 percent drop from the 23.6 million viewers who turned on their TVs for the program last year.
The third consecutive broadcast of the Host Academy with a rating of 2.1
The decline in both indicators is not entirely surprising, as the award shows that it has generally faced declining ratings in recent years. And few of the nominees were considered massive, given that cinemas have been largely closed for a year due to the pandemic.
The Emmy Awards, broadcast in September, accounted for the lowest ratings of any such ceremony in the history of the Television Academy. The show attracted only 5.1 million viewers, which is 14% less than last year’s event, according to Nielsen.
The Grammys also saw a staggering decline. This year’s award ceremony attracted 9.23 million spectators, a 51% drop from the 18.69 million included in the program in 2020.
So, do people get bored of big awards ceremonies or just watch them differently?
Some argue that the accumulation of too many live awards ceremonies has saturated the market and made the show with top-level awards such as Grammys, Emmys and Oscars less exciting for viewers.
Golden Globes, Video Music Awards (VMAs), Billboard Music Awards, Country Music Awards, BET Awards, Choice People Awards, Critics’ Awards and countless other ceremonies have been televised in recent years. With such a small curation, it would not be surprising if viewers start to feel tired.
Not to mention that younger viewers, many of whom have cut the cable, are less likely to attend the traditional 16 to 20-minute commercials per hour that come with live TV. A three-hour show like the Oscars can mean one-hour ads.
There are also some who complain about Hollywood, in particular because of the use of its award ceremonies to make political and social statements. Regina King, who opened the Oscars on Sunday, used her time to hint that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of three charges stemming from the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man last year.
“Now I know that many of you at home will reach for your remote when you feel Hollywood preaches to you, but as a mother of a black son, I know the fear that so many people live with and not the amount of fame or fortune changes that,” he said. she.
Then there are the nominees themselves. Nielsen’s data show that in the years when certain, more popular commercial films were nominated, more people tuned in. The 2019 ceremony, which affected 29.6 million viewers, included nominees from popular films such as The Black Panther, Spider-Man: In the Spider’s Verse, Bohemian Rhapsody and Born a Star.
Similarly, even a decade ago, when “Avatar,” “Up,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “District 9,” “Wound Cover” and “Blind Side” were nominated for Best Picture, ratings reached 41.6 million.
Of course, there is an opportunity for people to watch these award ceremonies, but to watch the programs differently. Nielsen’s data does not include data on viewers who have chosen to watch one of the major awards on streaming platforms.
Dan Rayburn, a media and streaming analyst, said one barrier is that the streaming industry has not yet agreed on a specific definition of what a viewer is. Each streaming service has a different way of reporting how many people have watched a particular movie, TV show, or live program. This can make it difficult to compare between platforms and between these platforms and traditional cable providers.