The 93rd Academy Awards recorded a low viewership and rating, of a 2.1 this year, The Washington Post reported. As per Nielsen Live+Same Day preliminary national numbers, Nomadland‘s historic win was viewed by an average of 10.4 million viewers. The viewership fell by 56%.
The rating is deduced from the age group of 18-49, and stands at less than a third of the viewership that the award show with the highest honor held in 2011, with 37.9 million views.
However, the 2021 Oscars fared slightly better than the 2020 Oscars that recorded an all-time low of a 1.9 rating despite Parasite‘s big win and tons of actors in attendance. The viewership stood at 23.6 million.
According to the report, all award shows including the Golden Globes and Grammys suffered a viewership decline of 63% and 51% respectively, due to restricted production value caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
While viewership of any show is subject to fluctuations, Oscars’ viewership saw a steady decline from 2014 that had witnessed 43.7 million viewers, to 37.3 million in 2015, 34.4 million in 2016, 32.9 million in 2017, and 26.5 million in 2018. The year 2019 saw a mild increase with the Academy announcing an event without a host, for the very first time. Although the viewership stood at 29.6 million, the year of Green Book was rated 7.7, the highest recorded in the last five years.
The Academy and its organisers replicated the 2019 model in 2020, that could not be of much help.
Apart from being the third consecutive year to be conducted without a host, a major popularity factor with names like Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Kimmel and others, the highly-anticipated 2021 event saw very few stars turning up. Audience members mostly comprised the nominees and presenters. The absence of a proper social media buildup leading up to the final night, and the dual-venue scheme might have taken away the charm that surrounded the ceremony.
The Washington Post also suggested the shuffling of the announcements as againat the norm of the Best Picture Award given at the end, might be a potential reason for a withering interest. It, however, added that the biggest losses were incurred by advertisers like Google, Adidas, and General Motors, that reportedly paid $2 million for a 30-second spot for the 3.23-hour-long event. The rates were in keeping with rates from five years ago when the viewership stood at 34 million.
As per The Washington Post, the steady decline in viewership is “worrisome” for Disney, that owns ABC- that airs the Oscars, which has a contract to air the award show through 2028.
The Academy Awards were held on April 25 at two locations in Los Angeles, the Union Station and The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.