Oscars Ratings Crash To All-Time Low; Viewership Falls Under 10M For First Time Ever

Last night’s 93rd Academy Awards saw Netflix walk away with the most hardware overall, but the Disney empire took the big prizes with Best Picture and Best Animated Film wins.

Those Nomadland and Soul trophies better shine pretty bright, because for ABC, Sunday’s Oscars were an expected ratings washout.

In delayed fast national results just released by Nielsen, the 93rd Academy Awards were watched by a mere 9.85 million, with a dismal rating of 1.9 among the 18-49 demographic.

That is an all-time low for Hollywood’s biggest night – by a huge margin.

In fact, it is a drop of over 58% in terms of audience from what the previous low of the 2020 Oscars snared on February 9 last year. In terms of the key demo, the 2021 Oscars is down a crushing 64.2% in the earlier ratings from the 2020 Oscars.

Still, while the number from last night’s Union Station-set show may be jaw dropping, no one is really surprised by this year’s Oscars falling to a low.

Coming off years of declining results in general, plus the last several months of little watched virtual awards shows, theatres closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a slate of Oscar nominees that lacked big name recognition, the Disney-owned network and AMPAS have long known they were in for a drubbing. It was only a matter of how bad things were going to be, not if they were going to be bad – and it was bad.

The question going forward is will 2021 be the Pompeii of award show ratings, or a tremor of sorts due to the particulars of the last year? Put another way, if the trajectory of the end of the pandemic stays on its current domestic track and yet if things still don’t rise next year for the Oscars, how hard will the reckoning be?

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